With the holiday season mostly behind us, we’re well acquainted with the concept of giving. Watching someone else tear through the wrapping paper to discover what’s inside is one of the best feelings in the world, second only to watching the look of pure ecstasy on their faces when they finally see what the gift is. Nailing the perfect gift for our friends usually feels great. Not only have you made your friends really happy, the perfect gift also serves as a validation for how well you know that person, doesn’t it.
However, friendships aside, gifting things to others can make you feel more at peace than actually buying things for yourself.
Here are some reasons why:
1. It makes you intrinsically happy
A study that was conducted in 2008 by Harvard University proved that the act of giving makes us intrinsically happy. They offered their participants cash and told them they were either allowed to spend it on themselves or on someone they cared about. At the end of the study, it was noted that those who had used the cash to gift others were much happier than those who bought items for themselves. This is mainly because when you give something to someone else, the part in your brain that is associated with pleasure lights up. It also leads to the release of more endorphins in the brain, which makes you happy.
2. It helps improve your health
This sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? How can gifting your best friend that handbag you saw the other day improve your health? There have been many studies that link generosity with good health. A study conducted by the University of Michigan showed that elderly couples that are involved in helpful activities regularly were less likely to die within a 5 year period when compared with other elderly couples who did not help others out in any way. The study accounted for age and lifestyle habits in a way that the results were purely attributed to the act of giving.
3. It promotes a social connection
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, having a social connection with at least a few people is important. The act of giving helps promote the feelings of trust and dependability, which then boosts your connection with others. Furthermore, having positive social connections is what leads to better mental and physical health. When you give something to others, not only do they feel closer to you, but you also end up feeling a lot closer to them. Therefore, it can help you strengthen your existing relationships as well.
4. It invokes gratitude
Being grateful can help you live a more positive life. The act of giving can help invoke gratitude in others (and yourself if you are on the receiving end) and can help you foster feelings of thankfulness. It is one of the most important feelings as it can help you lead a more mindful existence and make your life more meaningful.
5. It is contagious!
Often, the act of giving can lead to a sort of domino effect. You give a gift to someone, that person is more likely to not only give a gift to you, but also give things to other people that they know. The cycle of happiness, gratitude, meaningful connections, and good health continues from there on. Before you know it, you end up creating a community of givers who are intrinsically happy and are finding more meaning in their lives. Essentially, this kind of an attitude is great for people all across the world.
One of the best things that you can give your family is a sense of security. By investing in life insurance, you can make sure that they feel safe and happy no matter what happens.