Turns out giving is not only good for the soul, it’s a powerful and positive boost for your mood, your health and your sense of community. Whether you give away your used clothing or other goods, volunteer, or just surprise someone with a random act of kindness, you can show your gratitude this holiday season and give yourself something back. Give! It’s scientifically proven: you can truly “get high” on giving.
The Giving Brain
In a 2006 study by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found that when people give to those in need, regions of their brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust are activated, creating a “warm glow” effect. Researchers are finding that those who give or volunteer have releases of endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”
The Giving Heart
People who give social support to others have lower blood pressure than those who don’t, according to one study at John Hopkins University. And research at the University of Michigan found that older adults who gave of their time and helped others lived twice as long as their peers who provided no help.
The Giving Circle
Oxytocin is a hormone associated with feelings of warmth, euphoria, tenderness and connection. Giving has been shown to release oxytocin in the human body. And according to research at the Center for Neuroeconomics at Claremont University, studies show that a dose of oxytocin will generate feelings of empathy, encouraging one to give more generously. This “oxytocin high” is contagious. Studies also show that one person’s giving encourages others to give…and so on and so on.
Thank yourself this holiday season: clear out your old clothes from your closets, garages, attics and basements, tie it up in a plastic bag and put in one of our bins. We send your clothes to those in need in Africa, Mexico, South America and parts of North America. This simple act does so much. It gets kids back in school and people back to work. It boosts the local economy. And, it helps our own environment by keeping clothing out of our landfills.
Or you can volunteer your time to a charity, or simply go out of your way to help a neighbor or stranger. Give and then give thanks that you are fortunate to be in a place to be giving. It benefits your head, your heart, your home and our planet.
Happy Thanksgiving from Charter Recycling.