Happiness: Giving Back and Helping Those in Need

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Give Back—Feeling like it's time for a mommy makeover? Summer can be a fun, but challenging season for moms. The sun, the chlorine, the daily activities and stresses that you might not feel during the school year can all add up. One mom recently said she had packed on six extra pounds just by sharing macaroni and cheese and hot dog lunches with her kids during the summer months, versus the healthy salads she tries to have during the year.

The Anti-Aging Elixir

Scientists and sociologists who study centenarians report that people who live past 100 have at least one thing in common. A connectedness to the world around them, and a heart for giving back. Centenarians have purpose to their lives. Their age isn't a deterrent to trying new things!

Just look at Angelina Jolie or Sophia Loren. Even standing in the rubbish of an African ghetto, Angelina manages to look like the most put together starlet in the world. She is not photo shopped in that picture where shes wearing cargos and a black tank top, with her hair pulled back. She doesn't even have on makeup. But it's her wide, joyous smile that makes her seem so youthful. Princess Diana was the same way. Her face seemed radiant, as she held the hand of a sick child in a foreign land, unconcerned about her wrinkled clothes, or makeup.

Laboratory experiments show that positive moods reduce stress-related hormones in your body. This chemical chain reaction increases the immune function, promoting healing, and vitality. When you give back, you take the focus off of your own problems, in order to focus on someone else. When you look at the scientific data, you can see that your happiness isn't an option. Happiness is a necessity, as important as air and water!

There's a link between happiness and longevity. And not only that, it's just one of many ways I can raise kids who have a global perspective on cultures and kids in other nations. You don't gave to adopt 12 kids from different cultures to know how different cultures think. You can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Today I received an email about an entrepreneur I sponsored for kiva. The business owner in Latin America planned to use my money to buy llamas to fund a clothing business. Llamas! This was a great opportunity to teach the kids about the country, the animal, the business, and entrepreneurship. Kiva is a micro lending organization that offers small hopeful business owners in remote regions the opportunity to get seed money. You can donate 25$ or 50$. You can see who you're giving to and where your money is going. And guess what? Since it's a loan, your money comes back to you.

One proven way to find yourself again as school gets underway, is to make time for giving back. But it's not just your physical beauty that will change. Mother Teresa lived to be 87.

The 10 Year Younger Challenge

Take the 10 Year Younger challenge today: give, give, and give, everyday for 10 days and see how healthy you can be.

When I worked in orphanages building swingsets in Brasov, Romania, there was no time to sit and dwell on any issues back home. And when I returned to the United States, the lifestyle the Romanians lived stayed with me. What was hard was to  envision spending $65 on a pair of jeans when it was an entire months salary for them. Giving back, gave me a healthy new view and was like a seismic shift for my heart.

If you want to live longer and look younger, do more for others. How will you give back to others today? This week? This month? This year?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Tammy Kling is a life coach, advocate for the homeless, and international author of 29 books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founderr of Write it Out, an organization that helps gang members, the homeless, and those living on the street write out their hopes & dreams via writers workshops, free journals and various other resources.

In addition to writing and coaching, Tammy is a mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer.

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I'm a book author, homeschool mom of boys, mountain runner and advocate for the homeless. Founder of Write it Out, a homeless recovery program that teaches writers workshops to the homeless and gang members, in order to focus on using the power of words to restore, recover, and rehabilitate.


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