As those who have experienced the power of giving can attest, there is a real power and enjoyment from this act of kindness that demonstrates the thought of the giver to those who receive. For millions of people around the world, the act of giving is an act of kindness to friends, family and even strangers who may be in need of some particular item.
“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.”—Albert Schweitzer
How Does Giving Benefit the Receiver?
Those who receive the gifts certainly feel the benefit of the gift itself. However, what is felt emotionally is greater than the monetary value of the present because they are receiving the good thoughts and well wishes of the giver.
A gift is an expression of thought, caring and love from the giver of which the receiver experiences in their own unique way. For children, receiving a gift is often one of the most memorable experiences, particularly on their birthday or during the holidays when gifts are exchanged. However, adults react in a different manner because they better understand all the emotions that are present when a gift is received.
What is the Feelings Associated with Giving Gifts?
There are many feelings that can be associated by the giver when they choose a present for someone they care about, wrap it up and send it to them either through the mail or by hand. There are feelings of self reward, satisfaction, hope and generosity that are being experienced by both the giver and receiver who can revel in the moment.
While the immediate feelings may be fleeting, the long term effect is one that actually deepens the bond between people. This is important as over time the bond that grows stronger can provide benefits that may not be imagined when the first gift was given. Happiness and joy are the obvious emotions that are felt, but there may be others as well depending on your relationship with the person you are giving the gift.
While the act of giving is not the originator of the feeling, it can help enhance them as you see the reaction of the person who receives the gift and their feelings of gratitude that is associated with your act of kindness.
The Health Benefits of Giving
Of course, there are many benefits to the giving of gifts, but they can actually bring more than just the feeling you manage to invoke from the receiver of the gift. This act can actually provide a real benefit in terms of your health.
Happiness: Perhaps it was not surprising that a 2008 study found that giving gifts actually creating more feelings of happiness in the giver. The good feeling was such that it had a profound effect on the participants’ lives as they were asked to give over six week period of time. The feelings of happiness actually lifted their spirits which helped in fighting off feelings of being down or negative feelings which tend to take away from being happy. There were even reports of those who felt euphoric after giving out a series of gifts over that time period.
Reduce Stress: It stands to reason that if giving out gifts helps you feel happy then it can also reduce the stress and tension in your life as well. Reducing stress in particular can not only help you feel happier, it can improve your overall health as well. Too much stress can lead to being more vulnerable to disease and even increase the chances for heart attacks and stroke. This means that giving should become a regular part of your life to help relieve the overall stress.
Improved Mental State: The improved mental state not only comes from the happiness and release of stress, but also from the improved outlook you will have on your friends, family, co-workers and others. The realization that there is good in all people combined with the act of giving is one that may provide a profound change in your own mental outlook. In addition to the overall boost in your mental state, the positive outlook can help you see the world in a new and more exciting manner. When given the choice between being clever or pleasant, being pleasant brings many joys especially when they are associated with giving.
Promotes Gratitude: Gratitude is a powerful emotion that is not invoked enough these days. The act of giving can actually bring that marvelous feeling out in people and in turn boost their spirits as well. Gratitude also helps dispel any negative feelings that might have built up over time which in turn means that relationships can be patched up or perhaps misunderstandings put by the wayside. In any event, invoking the feelings of gratitude can be quite powerful with friends and family.
Giving is Contagious: When one person gives, it tends to spark other people giving as well. The act of giving is one that is remarkably contagious and pretty soon you’ll have your friends and family giving back as well. While the obvious benefit is enjoying the gifts that you’ll be receiving, there is also the satisfaction in knowing that your act of generosity is now spreading to others who in turn will pass on the act of giving. This means that there is no telling just how far the act will go and provide so much happiness for so many people who are on the giving and receiving end.
Of course, giving provides stronger social relationships and strengthens the bonds in which we live. By becoming closer to those we care about, the act of giving provides a way to better communicate our feelings so that the thought can be appreciated by those who receive. In turn, you’ll find that your friend and family become closer and more happiness can ensue.
Overall, giving gifts helps make the world a better place to live. For many, it helps them in so many ways when they give gifts to friends and family that it becomes a very strong part of their own lives.
“You can have everything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want in life.” —Zig Ziglar