You may have heard the old saying “you get more enjoyment out of giving than receiving”. This could have come from a wise older family member or even a representative from a charitable institution, but is there any truth to the saying?
We decided to take a closer look and discovered that the short answer is yes! Scientific evidence suggests that there are a huge variety of benefits that come from the act of giving. Take a look at some of the most notable perks in the list below:
- Feeling happy
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved self esteem
- Lowered depression
- Reduced stress
- Lower blood pressure
- Longer life (no really! a study done by the University of California discovered that people over the age of 55 who regularly volunteered their time were up to 44% less likely to die in a 5-year period. How cool!)
You might be wondering why this happens. The easiest way to explain it is as a simple biological reaction. The act of giving can activate parts of the brain associated with pleasure through the secretion of chemicals like serotonin (mood regulator), dopamine (feel good neurotransmitter) and oxytocin (love, bonding and well-being hormone). These chemicals control many of our emotions and feelings which can directly affect factors such as trust, pleasure and connection with others.
You’re probably bursting with excitement right now and can’t wait to start giving. We don’t blame you. A world full of people helping each other is more accepting and connected but before you do, take a moment and think about how and who you will give to. It is important to find a way of giving that resonates with you.
Those giving only for the sake of giving and without a connection to the recipient/cause are less likely to receive any of the amazing benefits mentioned above. Afterall, in order to activate the parts of your brain associated with pleasure and trigger the release of the hormones which produce all these benefits, it has to mean something to you.
If you’re having trouble thinking of a somewhere to give back, a great practice would be to reflect on the times you have a struggled in your life and think about the kind of help you wish you had access to in that time.
A great example of this would be our own brand advocate Lexi. She struggled with an eating disorder in her youth and now she has dedicated herself to providing young girls with the support and information she lacked when she needed it. The results speak for themselves and now she is bubbling with self-confidence!
Our advice to you then is to find something that you’re passionate about. For us here at Yumm, that is mental wellness! In fact, we recently teamed up with IFYS and the Queensland Health Care Army to donate a pallet of chocolate to a homelessness support hub at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. It was a joy to see the smiles on the face of vulnerable people and support workers! Check out the video below to see more about the donation!