Ever gotten a rush from giving? That’s because gift-giving comes with emotional benefits and is good for your self-esteem. In fact, giving a gift may very well make you happier than receiving one. Here are five inspirational reasons being generous is fantastic for your soul!
Generous people are fun to be around, and for good reason. They encourage others and inspire them to be better than before. Generosity, such as gift-giving, makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you’re better at making those around you feel good, too.
These feelings are reflected in our biology. A 2006 study showed that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect.
Giving can help you focus less on yourself and more on others. According to research, giving becomes addictive and the positive feelings increase your sense of self-esteem. Knowing that you’re making a difference in the lives of others gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
Stronger Social Connections
When you give, you’re more likely to get back. 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.
Such exchanges promote trust and cooperation that strengthens ties, and research shows that having positive social interactions is beneficial to mental and physical health. What’s more, when you give, you don’t only make others feel closer to you, but you also feel closer to them.
Lower Stress Levels
Simply put, giving to others will make you happy and lower your stress levels. When you give, your brain releases the mood-boosting chemical, oxytocin, which also counteracts the effects of the stress hormone, cortisol. Interestingly, the higher your levels of oxytocin, the more you want to help others. When oxytocin is heightened, so are serotonin and dopamine. Ultimately, doing good is great for your mood!
When you give, not only are you making the recipient happy, but you’re also spreading generosity throughout your community. One study showed that when one person behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people. As a result, each person in a network can influence dozens — maybe even hundreds — of people, some of whom he or she doesn’t even know.
Long story short, there’s no reason not to give! Any time is a great time to show someone they were on your mind. Looking for a gift to spread the generosity? Check out our Just Because collection and surprise someone with a gift from the heart.