December brings out the Spirit of Giving in people.
Giving to the Salvation Army buckets; Giving to local food banks; Giving to families less fortunate.
When we give, we believe we are making the receiver feel better;
Don’t get me wrong, we are.
But study after study has shown that the GIVER not the RECEIVER benefits most from giving. <3
Helping others gives us meaningful roles that boost self-esteem, mood and purpose of life, which in turn can enhance mental and physical health.
Giving makes us happy – Giving activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Studies show altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”
Giving is good for our health. – Giving helps decrease stress, which is associated with a variety of health problems. People who provided social support to others have lower blood pressure. A 1999 study found that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers.
Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. – Having a connection with others leads to positive social interactions that is central to good mental and physical health. Several studies have suggested that when you give to others, your generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line—sometimes by the person you gave to, sometimes by someone else.
Giving evokes gratitude. – Cultivating gratitude in everyday life is one of the keys to increasing personal happiness. Those who “count their blessings” and cultivate gratitude caused them to exercise more, be more optimistic, and feel better about their lives overall.
Giving is contagious. – When one person behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people. In fact, the researchers found that altruism could spread by three degrees—from person to person to person to person. You initiate a pay-it-forward current.
So in the end, when you give you:
- protect yourself against depression
- get a bit of a drug-free high
- can expect to live better, healthier and longer
- will literally keep you on your toes — and off your duff
- a good feeling all over — and be healthier for it
You don’t have to give money or presents. Give your time. Volunteer at a shelter or organization. Visit an elderly neighbor. Offer to babysit for a single parent giving them an hour or two of “me” time.
Say you don’t have a lot of time….write a “thinking of you” note to someone.
There are endless ways to give to others. Use your imagination.
“Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week reach to someone that might need a lift” ― Pablo
In the end….YOU, the GIVER, benefits the most.
~Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Specialist