A longer life. A happier life. A healthier life. Above all, a life that matters—so that when you leave this world, you’ll have changed it for the better. If science said you could have all this just by altering one behavior, would you?
Dr. Stephen Post has been making headlines by funding studies at the nation’s top universities to prove once and for all the life-enhancing benefits of caring, kindness, and compassion. The exciting new research shows that when we give of ourselves, especially if we start young, everything from life-satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly affected. Mortality is delayed. Depression is reduced. Well-being and good fortune are increased. In their life-changing new book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Dr. Post and journalist Jill Neimark weave the growing new science of love and giving with profoundly moving real-life stories to show exactly how giving unlocks the doors to health, happiness, and a longer life.
The astounding new research includes a fifty-year study showing that people who are giving during their high school years have better physical and mental health throughout their lives. Other studies show that older people who give live longer than those who don’t. Helping others has been shown to bring health benefits to those with chronic illness, including HIV, multiple sclerosis, and heart problems. And studies show that people of all ages who help others on a regular basis, even in small ways, feel happiest.
Why Good Things Happen to Good People offers ten ways to give of yourself, in four areas of life, all proven by science to improve your health and even add to your life expectancy. (And not one requires you to write a check.) The one-of-a-kind “Love and Longevity Scale” scores you on all ten ways, from volunteering to listening, loyalty to forgiveness, celebration to standing up for what you believe in. Using the lessons and guidelines in each chapter, you can create a personalized plan for a more generous life, finding the style of giving that suits you best.
The astonishing connection between generosity and health is so convincing that it will inspire readers to change their lives in ways big and small. Get started today. A longer, healthier, happier life awaits you.
Post, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, outlines, as the book's subtitle puts it, "the exciting new research that proves the link between doing good and living a longer, healthier, happier life." With former Psychology Today features editor Neimark, Post cites a raft of studies (some of it funded by his Institute for Research on Unlimited Love) showing that qualities like gratitude, celebration, forgiveness and compassion are not only good for the recipients of your generosity-they're good for you too, leading to better health and longer life. Post details a self-help program based on his Love and Longevity Scale, tested on 339 college students, to measures how high you score on each quality. He also offers anecdotes (like the story of a five-year-old girl who forgave the shooter whose bullet paralyzed her) and advice to illustrate how to practice altruistic qualities. Forgiveness, for example, can be pursued through a Buddhist breathing meditation or by communing with a higher power. Post's advice to spend time helping others is grounded not only in research but in an optimistic faith in human nature.