“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill
Giving can take many forms. We give gifts, we give our time, resources, support, emotions, etc. But what if we do good things for others knowing that we’ll reap some benefits for ourselves? Acts of kindness mean so much to other people but they are beneficial for us as well.
Kind people live longer and healthier lives
They report fewer symptoms of pain and aches. Your physical health may also improve when you regularly treat others with kindness. Part of these health benefits may be positive side effects of the effects of kindness on our brains and emotions. For example, reducing the stress hormone cortisol can lead to improvements in overall wellbeing.
“Part of depression and anxiety are feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Practicing random acts of kindness makes people feel helpful, optimistic, efficacious, and boosts self-esteem.”
– Hoorie Siddique, PhD
Giving stimulates the reward (dopamine and endorphin) in our brain areas which makes us feel good and positive. This makes an impact on our emotions, confidence, and self-worth. We prevent ourselves from falling victim to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues when we are simply more apt to give. One of the rewards of giving is a helper’s high.
How can you give and what can you give this holiday season? Here are some ideas.
- Reach out to a loved one. Check in with family and friends to let them know you’re thinking about them. Send a postcard or Christmas card this year. It’s the thought that counts and I’m sure they would love to know you are thinking about them.
- Give an exhausted parent a break. Babysit for a friend who needs a break or for a couple who could use some alone time. Donate some of your time to give someone else time to breathe.
- Donate your gently used clothing. Local organizations such as the Round Rock Serving Center are always accepting gently used clothes. Gather your clean, gently used clothes and help organizations like the Serving Center give donations to families in need.
- Set aside time to volunteer. Arrange meals at food drives, help collect toys at toy drives, or volunteer to be a driver for Senior Access.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St Francis of Assisi
There are so many things to be gifted: money, love, patience, attention, and time are included. Organizations such as Just Because Ministries of Hope, The Playful Child, and Wise Owl Initiative are amazing options for giving these gifts and more this holiday season.
How important is giving to you? Where do you plan to sow seeds of giving this holiday season? Ultimately, giving helps others but it helps you become
a better and happier person.
Inspirational Gifts of Giving
Operation Santa Paws– Giving back to the 4 legged fur friends needs some love.