“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher
Remember when you were a child how exciting it was to receive a gift? The feeling of getting something and not knowing what it is? If you don’t remember the feeling of joy, give your child or any child a nicely wrapped gift and watch their eyes light up.
The excitement of receiving gifts might die down (although my wife has assured me it has most definitely not!) but as we get older the mental effects become the same for when we give.
Here are the top 3 reason why giving makes us happy:
1. It releases those same feel good chemicals in our brain as when we were kids
Evidence shows that during giving behaviors our brains release serotonin, dopamine and OxyContin. In layman’s terms, our brains release an anxiety regulator, a feel-good chemical and pain/compassion regulator. What does this all mean? When we give, our brain makes us feel good.
2. It decreases depression
Many studies on the effect of giving revealed the following: it improves life satisfaction and decreases depression. Scientists believe it is because by giving we stop thinking about negative outcomes and start thinking about positive ones. It helps us reflect and this practice of gratitude can help counter depression
3. It boosts self-esteem
According to University of Michigan psychologists, Jennifer Crocker and Amy Canevello, “Nothing makes you more proud of yourself than knowing that you are making a positive difference in the lives of other people.” By helping and working with others we can get a sense of purpose and self-worth, not to mention building good quality relationships.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope you enjoyed it and are feeling a little bit happier. Don’t forget to sign up if you would like to receive email reminders for when our future articles are released.