It’s one thing to try to lure people into being kinder and more connected to protect their own health: studies show giving can fight loneliness, which has now been found to dramatically increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia and early death and appears to be as unhealthy as smoking. Being kind and caring may also reduce stress and inflammation, which can lead to numerous mental and physical disorders. And while starting on the path to doing good by wanting to feel well isn’t quite as pure as being motivated by genuine altruism, at least it can lead there.

Maia Szalavitz via TIME

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