5 Health Benefits of Giving This Holiday Season

Your budget may be tight and your recipient lists short, but there are some very big benefits to giving (and doubling your impact when you do). When we use the word giving, we’re not just talking about giving gifts. We’re talking about donating to charities, purchasing fair trade, and volunteering your time to help others.

Here are the top 5 reasons to give this holiday season.

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1. IMPROVE YOUR MARRIAGE

By giving meaningful gifts and regularly thinking about small things to do for your significant other, will increase the happiness couples feel in marriage. According to research by the National Marriage Project, small random acts of kindness are key in happy marriages. Another study said that along with sexual intimacy and commitment, generosity is a top indicator of a successful marriage.

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2. PROMOTES MENTAL HEALTH

Dr. Ellen J. Langer, a professor of Psychology at Harvard University, says that giving gifts is psychologically beneficial for the gift giver. To deny someone giving you a gift, especially in the case of a child to a parent, is to deny that person the opportunity to feel generous. She adds that giving a gift is empowering and boosts your self-esteem.

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3. REDUCE STRESS & LIVE LONGER

Social isolation and stress were found as predictors of mortality from a 20-year meta-analysis. Researcher Michael J. Poulin from the University of Buffalo led a five-year study that shows that helping others can help buffer the negative effects of stress.

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4. FEEL GREAT

Giving lights up your positive reward area, like when giving money to charity, even more than just receiving a monetary reward. This study suggests that to give is more rewarding than to receive. This is especially rewarding when you have to take the time to think about what someone else would want.

By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, you practice exhibiting empathy. Remember, pick something that your recipient would want for themselves, not just what you think would be good for them.

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5. PASS IT ON

Your act of generosity and your adherence to helping make a difference in someone else’s life can inspire someone else to do the same. In that way, your act of kindness or generosity will be compounded.

For example, by purchasing a fair trade product like the ones sold in GlobeIn’s shop, you are not just giving someone a gift with a story. You are helping improve the lives of the artisans who crafted the products. Maybe this year, you’ll be spreading holiday cheer in more ways than you know.


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Post by Barbara Lee.

Barbara is a world traveler who is passionate about sustainable food systems, responsible consumerism, and holistic living. Her professional background and interests include writing, cooking, non-profit work, and eco-conservation.