Giving Tuesday: give to yourself when you give to type 2’s!

It isn’t a surprise that being on the receiving end of acts of kindness or charity is a big mood booster. Receiving help when we need it greatly i...

It isn’t a surprise that being on the receiving end of acts of kindness or charity is a big mood booster. Receiving help when we need it greatly impacts our wellbeing. However, studies also show that being the giver can actually boost your physical and mental health.

WebMD says, “Two large studies found that older adults who volunteered reaped benefits in their health and well-being. Those who volunteered were living longer than non volunteers. Another large study found a 44% reduction in early death among those who volunteered a lot.”

Have you heard people say they would rather give than receive or it’s far better to do so? Well, there may be something to it.  “Donating to charity is a major mood-booster. The knowledge that you’re helping others is hugely empowering and, in turn, can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. Research has identified a link between making a donation to charity and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure,” writes the Charities Aid Foundation. So, why is giving so good for us? What charities should I give to this “Giving Tuesday”?

Increase Oxytocin

One big scientific push to give, this Tuesday, is to gain oxytocin.  When you give, your oxytocin levels rise. Oxytocin has a role in affecting the regulation of glucose and insulin, as well as regulating body weight balance. It has been reported that Oxytocin promotes glucose uptake and stimulates insulin secretion. Recent research on oxytocin reduced obesity-related diabetic changes, such as glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, and pancreatic islet hypertrophy. This is great news for type 2’s! When you help people or give back, your oxytocin level goes up.  In turn, your own stress decreases.

Increase Control 

The world can be an overwhelming place.  Especially with the constant awareness we now have every day due to technology and social media.  There has never been an easier time to be bombarded with reports, statistics and news about causes we are passionate about. This can cause stress or a feeling of powerlessness. How can we be part of a solution? Acting on these feelings of responsibility and a desire to help a cause, helps reinforce your core values and live a more fulfilled life. 

When we give to charity we are part of an active solution to a problem that affects us or others. Being a part of a solution reduces stress by giving us some control over a negative situation. 

Another big reason is that altruistic emotions win out over stress.  a few small studies point to lowered stress response and improved immunity (higher levels of protective antibodies) when one is feeling empathy and love.

Inspire Others

Giving inspires those around us and creates a chain reaction of positivity. Just one act of generosity can inspire enough people to really make a difference. If your children and friends see you engaging in charitable acts, they may develop a more giving mindset and also engage in acts of giving.  Is there a better way to strengthen your relationships than bonding over supporting a shared cause? We can accomplish so much more with more helping hands and hearts!

Three Type 2 Charities

This Tuesday, donate money to a meaningful charity in a loved one’s name. Donating money to charities has become a popular gift idea for all kinds of occasions in the last few years. A few top organizations for research, raising awareness and creating events that support people with diabetes are the following: 

  • American Diabetes Association (ADA) 
    • Protect lives through advocacy efforts, to ensure every person with diabetes has equitable access to safe and affordable health care.
    • Save lives by funding critical research to develop life-changing treatment for those living with diabetes today—until the day we find a cure.
    • Help people thrive with a compassionate community where people with diabetes can find the resources they need and connect with others who get it. 
  • The diaTribe Foundation, Our core programs each make a different and important impact on the diabetes community. diaTribe aims to help individuals and caregivers better understand diabetes and to make healthy choices. Engaging with policy makers, industry leaders, providers, and the public, we advocate for patients, making their voice heard. 
  • DiabetesSisters was founded in response to a need for more education and advocacy around the health of women with diabetes. Their site hosts webinars and has expert advice. In its mission to support and empower women with diabetes, the site also provides several community forums.

Type 2 diabetes, while manageable long-term, is best avoided. By improving your diet and exercise and maintaining healthy choices, you can significantly prevent these illnesses from occurring. For more information on healthy living and controlling and treating diabetes and heart disease, join our free diabetes support group: Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together.