Why Gift Giving is Good for You
'Tis the season to be grateful, despite what may feel like a steamroller of a year!
A show of gratitude can come in many forms, but one way is gift giving and believe it or not, there are reasons that giving gifts with positive intention have health benefits for both you and the recipient! There is actual scientific evidence giving is good for us and for the community.
Let's give some shout-outs to a few benefits, and see how that can inspire and uplift us this season.
Giving Makes us Feel Good.
We release chemicals in our brain that can help induce a sense of happiness, including serotonin (helps us regulate mood), dopamine (helps us feel good), and oxytocin (helps us feel compassion and bonding). This is what contributes to our feeling excited about giving the gift, as well as a connection when when giving it. As the gift giver, some other benefits when you gift to someone you love may include:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increased self-esteem.
- Less depression.
- Lower stress levels.
At JUARA we choose to give the gift of self-care, offering products from the Indonesian Jamu tradition which focuses on a healthy, self-loving, community support at its core. We love that our products used in a beauty ritual can bring joy to someone's morning and night!
But there are many ways to give. We don't always have to purchase items. We can volunteer our time for the service of those who need it. We can even be an ear to those who need a caring friend to listen. In fact, there is a study from UC Berkely in 1999 (and another one from University of Michigan in 2003) that shows that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers. This was even after controlling for their age, exercise habits, general health, and negative health habits like smoking.
Giving is Good for the Recipient.
Receiving a gift also induces the release of oxytocin which creates intimacy, trust, and builds healthy relationships. You can strengthen work and personal relationships through a simple birthday or anniversary gift. Our loved ones benefit from receiving the gifts of our attention, compassion, connection, and affection.
Giving is Good for Our Society.
Giving promotes social cooperation and connection. When we give, our generosity is often rewarded and not necessarily by those to whom we gave. It's a circle of connection that's created when people give to each other, making communities and social relationships feel closer - which is good for our mental and physical health. We feel gratefulness in giving and receiving, and kindness in the spirit of giving - who doesn't want more of that in their lives?