5 Reasons Why Giving is Good for You
You’ve heard it said, “It is better to give than to receive.” We understand this from a moral and spiritual standpoint, but science shows that giving actually brings physical and psychological benefits, too. Giving doesn’t have to be monetary or physical; you can give your time and receive the same kinds of benefits. Here are some reasons why giving is good for you – mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Giving helps build social connections.
In the Philippines, we have this concept of ‘utang na loob’ when someone does us a great favor. This feeling of indebtedness is primarily spurred by a deep sense of gratitude that ties us to our benefactor. We become emotionally bound to each other, beyond physical circumstances. As the giver, you get to experience the fulfillment that comes from knowing you’ve helped someone else. In giving, you’re essentially investing in someone else – and that creates bonds as well. It’s no wonder that giving is a powerful love language for many.
Giving relieves stress and improves emotional well-being.
Yes, you read that right. The act of giving is known to lower blood pressure and stress level. How does this happen? Giving redirects your thoughts to others and their needs, instead of yourself and your problems. Acts of charity also activate your brain’s happy hormones like endorphins and oxytocin, which put you in a state of joy and peace. You become a happier, more balanced person by giving.
Giving helps you stay healthy, longer.
People who volunteer are more likely to have healthy hearts, experience less depression, and live longer. Studies have found that people who engage in regular volunteer activities have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In simple language, they’re less at risk of heart disease. This is true for adults who help others even in ways that don’t involve physical activity. Who would have thought that giving can be an effective way to achieve cardiovascular health?
Giving builds a sense of purpose.
Helping others on a regular basis brings meaning into our lives. As mentioned earlier, giving refocuses our thoughts outward instead of inward. This enables us to see the bigger picture and to feel that we’ve contributed to the greater good. Because giving brings purpose, it also helps people recover from depression and process grief faster. So the next time you’re feeling down, try doing something good for someone else.
Giving increases our faith.
Giving to loved ones is fairly easy; giving to absolute strangers can be harder. Giving out of excess is doable; giving when we have limited resources is faith-stretching. Many times we fail to realize that giving sacrificially is a matter of trust – can God fill the gaps when we give ‘too much’? The answer, of course, is yes. But until we give beyond what we think is reasonable, we won’t be able to experience God’s miracles in our lives. You can never out-give God.
Many times we think of giving as a sacrifice – we give up something for someone else to benefit. But this list just shows that when you give, you actually get more in return. Why not start your giving journey today?