This contributed post details the benefits of giving.
There’s a ton of anecdotal evidence that purports giving is beneficial to both the recipient and the giver.
This power of giving can be particularly helpful when people face emotional difficulties, as it shifts the focus from internal to external. When the focus is internal, we often ruminate, and get lost in the windmills of our mind which exacerbates the anxiety we feel.
Whereas, when the focus shifts to being outside of ourselves we are able to gain some perspective and clarity. When we help another, we feel we are able to make a difference and this empowered feeling is quite the opposite to the state one often feels when stressed out.
The altruism one feels from giving to another has been proven to have a similar physiological effect to a runner’s high, known as the “helper’s high”, and a variety of studies have reported people helping another to report a feeling of being mo
re strong, energetic, and happy – they get an endorphin rush similar to the endorphin rush experienced from a person running.
This article looks at three ways you can activate this principle and reap the emotional rewards of ‘giving’ to others:
“Giving” isn’t restricted to acts of service such as sweeping your neighbor’s
drive, or giving money to someone in need – it can be as simple as giving someone a heartfelt compliment at the grocery store.
Today, we are all so busy that our interactions are often transactional to the point we lose sight of the person behind the interaction. In taking an interest in the person you are giving a powerful gift; one of connection and making that person feel significant and valued enough to have an interest taken in their life. The power of remembering someone’s name, or something they
are doing can be a fantastic way to build rapport – and, again, it gives the recipient a sense of feeling important; not in an egotistical way, but in a way they feel like they matter. In a world where so many people suffer from low self-esteem, helping a person to feel like they matter is a very powerful gift you can offer… yet, out of our own shyness or insecurity, we often restrict what we say, in order to protect ourselves from the potential rejection of giving a compliment that lands in an uncomfortable way.
Indeed, one has to be mindful of the notion that giving a compliment or taking a significant interest in the person you are talking to could be perceived as either flirtatious or as a thinly veiled attempt of getting something you want from that person.
GIVE MEANINGFUL GIFTS
Often, small but well thought out gifts are greatly appreciated by people, as an example, a laptop camera cover for someone always dropping their device would be a much more thoughtful gift than a bunch of flowers. Sometimes, people rely too heavily on gifts in order to fill a void that exists within their connection to another, but if the gift is something personal and meaningful (even if it costs barely any money and is homemade) that need for connection is fulfilled. Also, there’s no rule that says it has to be a physical gift – it could be an act of service, such as organizing a cluttered bedroom and turning it into a relaxing paradise for when your partner gets home after a particularly stressful day.
Simply showing appreciation via words or a simple gift can have a profound effect on a person. We are all emotional creatures and the best reward we can get is an emotional reward that makes us feel appreciated, empowered, respected, valued and important.
Appreciating your partner for the little things they do such as cooking dinner or picking up the dry cleaning elevates that person’s self-esteem and feeling of happiness; which is then reciprocated. We all want to feel valued and respected; rather than taken for granted and unappreciated.