Studies have shown that it is in our nature to be selfless and to give. Studies have further shown that by giving gifts without expecting something in return, you can improve your overall mental health! Most people tend to believe that gifts are only for special events such as Christmas or birthdays. However, this is not the case. Gifts can be given year round to people and organizations you appreciate and care about. When you think of the word gift you are probably thinking of something big and possibly expensive. While these gifts are nice, they aren’t necessary when giving a gift to someone. Gifts can include: writing a thoughtful letter about how much you appreciate that person, baking some cookies and handing them out, knitting a hat for a coworker, handing out mittens to people you pass on a walk, or even donating some money to a nonprofit that you support. All of these things (and more!) show those around you that you care, and help to improve your mental health in the process.
The overall benefit of gift giving even extends to that of physical health. Studies have shown that these mental health & health benefits have been associated with giving:
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Increased self esteem
- Less depression
- Lower stress levels
- Longer life
- Greater happiness and satisfaction
However, it’s important to remember that this only works if you are taking care of yourself as well. If all you do is give, it will drain you pretty fast. This is why it’s important to give yourself a gift every once in a while. Sometimes people wait for others to give back in the same way they have given. This will only lead to them putting unrealistic expectations on others. Self worth should come from within and not from what others give. Give gifts because it makes YOU feel good, and not because of the thought of getting a gift back. Overall, it doesn’t matter what you spend, it’s the act of selfless giving that will bring about happiness.