When it comes time to send gifts to our friends and loved ones we hardly think of the benefits of gift giving to ourselves; we are keen to find a gift that we think the other person will love and can use. Lots of research has been done about gift giving and one thing has become obvious – not only is it beneficial to the recipient, it also has positive effects on the person sending the gift. In fact, this is largely the basis for philanthropy at all levels. When people give they feel better about themselves in many ways. This year, as you think about whom to send a gift, think about the following benefits to yourself:
- Whenever you give a gift to someone else you strengthen the bond between you and that person. If, for example, you know that someone has been going through a rough time and you haven’t been there for them one way to show them that you care and think about them is to send them a gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.
- Does sending a gift to someone make you feel happy? Think about this – the level of happiness that the recipient feels is the same and sometimes more than yours. This means that by sending a simple gift you have bought yourself a lot of goodwill.
- Sending gifts has a ripple effect. You will be open to receive all sorts of gifts yourself. People who send gifts often also receive gifts all the time.
- Research shows that every time one sends a gift the brain releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone that is so good for our health. If you are feeling blue try and send a gift for a friend or loved one to uplift yourself.
- People who habitually send gifts have been found to be more empathic than people who don’t. This is because gift giving is a process – you have to think about the other person and what they could use the most. You learn to recognize other people’s needs and problems and do the little that you can to help.
- Gift giving doesn’t cost you very much. True, there are gifts that can cost thousands of dollars, but who said you have to wait until you can afford them? Your friends and family appreciate small, thoughtful gifts that don’t cost you very much.
- Anonymous gift giving is just as beneficial as giving to your friends and family. If you know someone who could use your help but is too proud to ask try leaving them an anonymous gift. It will make the world of difference for them, and it will not cost you much.
- When you cheer up someone with a gift it makes you feel happy too.
Whoever you are and whatever you do, there is someone you know who can do with a gift today.