According to Stephen Post, co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People, there is a measurable link between doing good and living a longer, happier and healthier life. Dr. Oz talks with Stephen, a bioethics professor at Case Western Reserve University and the president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, about the connection between altruism and well-being.
Stephen says studies have shown that positive spiritual emotions such as gratitude, compassion and forgiveness create an internal harmony that brings joy and good health. "When we get in touch with this higher self and we cultivate it each day, it's tremendously good for the people around us, but it's wonderful for our own happiness and our own health and our own well-being," he says.
Part of this formula for happiness involves doing good to be good, rather than doing good with the expectation of getting something in return, Stephen says. "You shouldn't make your generosity dependent on an anticipated payoff," he says. "It's more of a side effect, or a byproduct, or an unintended aftereffect of giving and generativity."
When it comes to being altruistic and giving back to others, Stephen says it's important to recognize that everybody has different strengths. When people unite their efforts, the benefits increase. "If we pull together in one body we can change the world," he says.
Here are some of the top ways Stephen says anyone be more giving:
Published on January 01, 2008