It’s easy to get cynical and angry in today’s world. Lots of things are going on, and we use all our energy and focus to solve our problems and get through it. We accidently forget about other people who could benefit even from any little help that we can easily give. It only takes a small gesture of kindness to change someone else’s life.
I am talking about giving not to just to encourage you to help, but I want to show you the huge benefits that you get.
I love to give, simply because it makes me happy. Scientific studies show that helping others has a huge impact on your happiness and increases your overall satisfaction in life. In short science demonstrated that there are strong associations between happiness and helping others. In a study of over 1,600 women volunteers, scientists talked about the ‘helpers’ high’. They were referring to the euphoric feeling, followed by a longer period of calm, experienced by many of the volunteers after helping. In other words, you will instantly feel that you have a sense of meaning in your life when you spend time focusing on improving the lives of others. It will also reduce your stress levels and improve your mood since it will help you take your mind off your own problems and challenges.
It’s extremely important to know who to give to. Because when you offer something (material or service) to someone or to some NGO who has a great need for it and can benefit them, you will have a greater feeling of self-worth. This selfless act will help you view yourself in a better way and gives you feelings of competence. You will see how valuable you can be to others and sometimes you will directly witness the fruits of your kindness. With this increased positive self-esteem and self-worth comes a genuinely increased optimistic mood and outlook on life.
Kindness and giving to other acts like a “glue”. It will connect you to other individuals in a deeper way. And by giving and connecting deeply you will meet your own basic human need which is “relatedness”. Other people will feel that connection too. You will consequently create an atmosphere in and around you that is filled with love and connection.
They say emotions are contagious, but so is giving! When someone unexpectedly does something kind towards you, you will feel better! You even feel connected, cared for and loved. Then you will be inspired to be kinder to yourself and to others. In this way, kindness spreads from one person to another. What I am trying to tell you here is that when you are being kind to one person, you are never kind to this person only. This impact of yours will be transferred to other people as well! You will be influencing others that you have never met. Kindness is one of the ways to create a happier and more trusting local community! No matter how little you can give, you have the power to touch, change and improve other lives. And you can never expect how this positive change will impact them.
More Ways to Give
Get creative at giving. Giving is not only about material things. You can give your time. You can be present and supportive. You can give a huge hug transferring your warmth and care. You can give a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on. You can give your expertise and teach someone what you know. And yes, you can give materially it is also a huge need. But don’t limit yourself to material giving only.
We were used to the thought that people only did things when they got something in return. But now you see a new angle on why people passionately give. Studies of the brain now show that when we give to good causes, same parts of our brain light up as if we were receiving money or responding to other human pleasures.
Do you want to be happier? Then I want you to wait for the next opportunity to give. And I also want you to remember that when you give, you access a happier life, a life with meaning. You increase your self-esteem and create a unique and deep connection with others. Finally, you create a ripple effect, the positive change you make in the person in front of you will impact others and the community around you.