Being generous to other people could be good for your health — can you imagine that? It's true, the mind/body relationship is remarkably intimate.
Studies from Cornell University have found that when we "do unto others," our immediate health response is an increase in energy and self-esteem, as well as a decrease of stress. These are measurable physical findings — such as an increase in the number of T cells in our immune system, which helps to fight disease. In addition, positive emotions lead to the release of endorphins, which can improve cardiovascular health.
Whoa! All of that from a basic message that has been around since biblical times!
There are natural born "givers" among us — from Mother Teresa to the lady in the candy store (when I was a kid) that would give a treat to every child who came in. America is full of great givers, volunteers and good Samaritans. Many do daily acts of charity without any fanfare; quietly they make a difference in someone else’s life.
Speaking of fanfare, this weekend Hollywood celebrates the Oscars, a great American tradition. Many of the people in Hollywood represent the best in America — they help with fundraising and support foundations and hospitals that ensure the health of our citizens. Some, of course, use these acts of charity to further their own public visibility, but we must remember what the Good Book says: "When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
So, I have an idea, one that I hope some who read this will adopt. All the nominees and presenters in the big Oscar show will receive a free gift basket full of incredibly expensive stuff! I think it would be a good idea for these people to donate their gift baskets to a public school or a hospital in an area where fundraising is needed most. Let's make a difference in someone’s life!
Come on, guys! Do you all really need a $100,000 gift bag? I respect the glamour and beauty of Hollywood, but let's face it, I would rather see some of that glamour light up a child’s face.
P.S. Don't forget to watch FOX News Channel. And please feel free to write to me at DRMANNY@FOXNEWS.COM and tell me what you think. Ask a question, share a thought, share a remedy — We'll try to answer all of your mail online or on the air.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.