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Study Explores Health Benefits of Spending Money (on Others)

Study Explores Health Benefits of Spending Money (on Others)
March 30
17:05 2016
We already know that sharing what you have with others can make you a happier person, but is it beneficial to your health?

A study published last month in the Health Psychology journal found that spending money on others – particularly close family and friends – can lead to lower blood pressure.

The study was split into two groups: in the first, participants were asked to spend a certain amount of money on other people. Researchers checked participants’ blood pressure two years later. As it turns out, those who had spent more money had lower blood pressure.

In the second group, half of the participants were asked to spend money on themselves and the other half was asked to spend money on others. The group spending money on others noticed a dramatic decrease in blood pressure.

The benefit was equivalent to starting an exercise regimen or taking anti hypertension medication. 

So how do you incorporate these findings into your own life? Study author Ashley Whillans recommends:

• Spend money on those you love, not strangers.
• Only give what you can afford to give. “There is research suggesting that if you help beyond your means, that can have a detrimental effect to health and happiness,” says Whillans.
• Don’t let yourself spend too much on holiday and birthday gifts.
• Give freely and do not attach guilt or expectations to your gifts.

In the news: LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has decided to give his entire annual bonus (about $14 million) to his staff to encourage moral and keep people on the team despite falling stocks.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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