5 Ways you will Benefit from Giving Back to Others
We all fundamentally understand why it’s important to act charitably within our families, community and society at large, but did you know that giving back is also good for you as the giver? Altruistic actions actually result in a biological effect that triggers the pleasure, trust, and social connection regions of our brain. Numerous studies have shown a connection between giving back and positive emotions experienced by the giver.
How many of us feel extreme delight when we give someone a gift? The joy we feel as we watch the person unwrap their gift and a smile spread across their face. Well, research shows that giving to others makes us far happier than receiving. When we give back to our communities, our brains release those warm and fuzzy endorphins which create feelings of happiness and what is referred to as “helper’s high”. Now, that’s a high that is worth pursuing!
Altruistic actions actually result in a biological effect that triggers the pleasure, trust, and social connection regions of our brain.
Gain Better Health
Did you know that individuals who volunteer on a regular basis tend to live longer than those who don’t? Not only has there been a correlation found between giving and mental health, but it can also improve your physical health. The release of endorphins you experience when doing a good deed has a similar effect to exercise on the body. Studies have found philanthropic actions create a purpose in life, which in turn results in improved sleep quality and reduced levels of anxiety and stress.
Be a part of something bigger
Ironically, self-serving behavior is not always as beneficial as we might think. Too much focus on ourselves can lead to stress, depression, and lower immune function. Finding a purpose outside of ourselves can help in reducing I-centric thinking and calm the stressful activities in our minds. As social creatures, our mental, physical, and spiritual health is more connected to the relationships we cultivate with others and our communities than we might assume.
Build meaningful relationships
Although the initial goal of giving may not be to receive something in return, the reciprocal nature of giving and receiving is important to our feelings of social connectedness. Our actions of generosity are bound to be rewarded at some point in time. Experiencing positive social interactions is crucial to our mental and physical health. The exchange of giving and receiving cultivates a sense of cooperation and trust which strengthens our connection to others.
Ironically, self-serving behavior is not always as beneficial as we might think. Too much focus on ourselves can lead to stress, depression, and lower immune function
Get a new perspective
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the majority of us are caught up in our everyday life responsibilities and daily duties that keep our lives moving forward. At times, it seems like we have blinders on and forget to be grateful for our circumstances and opportunities. Taking time to understand someone else’s situation and contributing to their well-being can help us step outside of ourselves and gain perspective on life on a larger scale. Seeing life through someone else’s eyes creates empathy and a sense of connection.