Best Moments to Feel the Joy of Giving

In my everyday life, I have often had to encounter the question, “what is it that makes you very happy?” Some may say an endless shopping spree whereas for others it might be eating sumptuous dishes to their heart’s content. But, I found the perfect answer to this question a few days back.

I had gone out for shopping but to my disappointment, there was absolutely nothing that I could find worth buying. Being a choosy person, this was not something new and I have somehow become used to dealing with coming back home empty handed. I was on my way back home when a small boy in tattered clothes happened to cross my path. He was begging for alms from all the people on the footpath with whom he encountered with. When he approached me in expectation of some benefaction, without thinking much, I handed him a few coins out of generosity. He smiled faintly and left. At that moment, I experienced a sudden sense of satisfaction. I felt as though I was not returning home empty handed. After pondering over the incident for a while, I realized that the joy of giving was the reason behind my happiness and immense sense of contentment. Thus, the question which had often left me perplexed was answered.

Post that episode, I started practicing the act of giving more often. And believe me, it has given me much more pleasure than anything else. Giving-whether it is your time, energy or money is not just a boon to those you are helping, but also has a whole lot of benefits in store for you. So, here are a few facts about the benefits you can derive by lending a helping hand. Read and practice them to unbox happiness!

Giving makes us feel happy

happy
Study has revealed that giving money to others will give you more happiness than spending it on yourself. Charitable acts activate regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as “helper’s high”. So, now you know the key to unlimited happiness.

You’ll enjoy more years of life

longevity
Findings show a link between unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death. Hence, helping others results in decreased mortality risk. So, not just happiness, you also have the key to longevity now!

Giving evokes gratitude

gratitude
A gift is a symbol of gratitude. Whether you are on the giving or receiving end, the act will elicit feelings of gratitude in both the parties. And gratitude is integral to happiness.

Keeps stress levels in check

Frustrated student
Frustrated student
Being stingy is associated with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. A philanthropic nature is effective in reducing the level of stress.

Promotes cooperation and social connection

social-connections
Being kind and generous automatically evokes a sense of belongingness. When you give, you are more likely to get back. Such positive exchanges promote trust and cooperation and will in turn, make your social connections stronger.

Keeps the cycle of “good” going

ripple-effect
The act of giving will not only benefit the recipient. It will also spur a cascade of generosity in your environment. Just like a small droplet of water can create a huge ripple effect, in a similar manner your one act of kindness can do wonders. And don’t be surprised if you receive an enormous dose of happiness by doing so.

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