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New books shows how in hard times, the best way to helps oneself is to help others
By CSLR | Emory Law | May 24, 2016 10:05:00 AM

A new book by CSLR Senior FellowStephen G. Post shows how helping others can get us through the inevitable tough times that come everyone’s way. The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, March 2011) is an outcome of CSLR's Pursuit of Happiness Project and was named to the Wall Street Journal's"Best-Selling Books" list May 1. The Pursuit of Happiness Project is sponsored by theJohn Templeton Foundation.

Post recounts how he and his family bounced back when he lost his job of 20 years. The family had to leave their longtime home in Cleveland, beset by new financial anxieties, the loss of community, and facing the challenges of starting over in a new place. They found that the key to dealing with this upheaval was something they knew quite well, since Post has led the scientific study of it: the healing power of helping others. Intentionally helping others as a daily way of life got them through several rough months.

Using insights and research from evolutionary psychology and psychiatry, spiritual wisdom, and findings from a national survey conducted by the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, where he serves as president, Post illustrates the amazing benefits of helping others, including greater longevity; lower rates of heart disease; improved mental, emotional and spiritual health; and relief of stress and negative emotions.