Social Activism Makes You Happier and More Resilient, Says Science

Why social activism is good for your brain_people marching

This weekend, millions of people will gather for the second year in a row in support of the Women’s March – an event that commenced last year the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. This year, marches in all 50 states and around the globe are calling for action at the polls. The goal is to get people to register to vote, and to show up on voting day. 

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum, or on the issue of this march in particular, finding a cause that speaks to you is one of the most Bulletproof steps you can take to increase your resilience and feel good about yourself. In fact, there’s even a term to quantify the health benefits of activism and social engagement – it’s called the “activism cure.”

What makes helping others so powerful? Activism builds a sense of identity and empowerment[1]. It allows you to feel like you have greater control over life, which helps prevent helplessness and hopelessness[2]. Personal identity, empowerment, and greater self-preservation and control all tie into better resilience – or the ability to adapt and become stronger in the face of adversity. Physical and mental resilience play a part in everything from increased longevity to better mental health, which is why it’s a core tenant of being Bulletproof.

The health benefits of activism have a physiological basis. Activism triggers the brain to release a shot of dopamine – a chemical involved in pleasure and reward. Dopamine, the same chemical that gets triggered during sex, motivates you to seek out what feels good. It also plays important roles in sleep, attention, and mood. Research from the National Institute on Mental Health even shows helping others give people a jolt of energy and, in some cases, alleviates physical pain[3]. In that way, volunteering and showing up for a meaningful cause helps you and others as well.

Interested to learn more about activism’s benefits? Watch the video below, then share with your family and friends to inspire them to a make a difference – not only in others’ lives but their own too.

Image Courtesy: 
Lydia Yekalam, Michael Edwards, Brian Kay, Ed Myers, Scott Engelhardt, Susie Orr, Denise Barrett, Louisa Barash, Emily Smoot, Brodie Nelson, 
Keith Sanders Turner, Danielle Fiorito-Grzesiuk

 

Join over 1 million fans

JOIN DAVE’S EMAIL LIST FOR THE LATEST NEWS
AND EXCLUSIVE TIPS ON HOW TO BE SUPER HUMAN

You may also like

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for individual medical advice. Articles and information on this website may only be copied, reprinted, or redistributed with written permission (but please ask, we like to give written permission!) The purpose of this Blog is to encourage the free exchange of ideas. The entire contents of this website is based upon the opinions of Dave Asprey, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective authors, who may retain copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the personal research and experience of Dave Asprey and the community. We will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this site; however, it is impossible to review all messages immediately. All messages expressed on the Blog, including comments posted to Blog entries, represent the views of the author exclusively and we are not responsible for the content of any message.