The holidays are over and so is the gift frenzy that’s such a huge part of the season. It’s nice to get presents- I like stuff and I won’t even pretend that I’m not materialistic! But I’ve also come to realize that I also like to give, and it turns out it’s not just because I’m such a nice person. There are real ways that giving is good for your physical and emotional health, among other things. Here are five ways that giving is good for you:
- Makes you happy. When you give, it activates regions of pleasure in your brain.
- Reduces stress. Giving has been clinically shown to reduce stress and blood pressure.
- Activates reward centers. Your brain reacts as though you’re receiving.
- Promotes cooperation and social connection. And that’s just good all around
- Creates a ripple effect. The whole “pay it forward” thing is real.
- Tax break. This isn’t the case for every time you give, but certain donations can get you a tax break in addition to all the other benefits!
I’m talking about all kinds of giving here- gifts, donations, charity, and volunteering. Pay attention next time you give and see how great it makes you feel!