Have you ever felt really good after giving someone on the street a cup of coffee or some food? Well, psychological studies have shown that those who give their time or resources to charity ended up happier than those who don’t. This is referred to as the “helper’s high” because of the extraordinary good feeling they get whenever they have offered their help to someone who needed it.

The simple act of giving to others not only has a significant spiritual meaning, but it also bears physical, mental, and emotional importance to us. Scientifically, charitable actions can increase or decrease hormone levels and activity in the body and help us become happier and feel less stressed. They initiate endorphin activity in the brain and stimulate a happier state of mind. Endorphin is our body’s own “happy hormones” since it helps lighten our mood all the time.

Giving to others also lowers a person’s level of stress. Studies have shown that those who have been generous to others have lower cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine levels. These hormones cause different physical and emotional manifestations of stress, which could later develop into complications and a person’s lack of energy and drive.

There are many things we can give to others and here are our top three:

1. Money

Making a donation to a charitable institution or a local organization in need, whether in small or large amounts, is a great example. There are many of us who often hesitate to give money because we don’t have much to give, but there is always a way. Save up your loose change, gather them in a jar, and when it’s full, donate it to a local organization that could use some of your financial help.

2. Things That You No Longer Need

Clean out your closet or your storage space for some items you are sure not to use anymore. Look for things that you can still use and salvage and give them to the local homeless shelter or thrift store. These things may be your clothes or shoes that you haven’t worn in the months or years, your kids’ toys or old electronics, furniture, and other things like blankets and towels that you no longer use.

This will not only benefit those who could really use these items but help you clear out some space in your home.

3. Time

Even when you could give some cash or old things that you own, nothing is more appreciated than giving others a little piece of you. Time is precious, as they say, and sometimes it could mean a lot more to people if you offer some of that time to serve those who have not been as privileged as you are. Volunteer at homeless shelters, community kitchens, pet shelters, and other organizations that help those in need, especially the homeless.

Doesn’t it feel good to see that smile on other people’s faces every time you’ve extended help towards them? It makes you feel better about yourself that you can’t stop smiling and feeling very positive towards life.

Valerie Soleil, B.A., LL.B.

Copyright © 2012-2020 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

Leave a Reply