"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." Calvin Coolidge
Christmas is here again, another year to join the busy queue to buy loved ones a gift from the heart. Everyone has the same question What am I going to get them? Moreover, thinking of a single gift can be overwhelming. Do you know by giving gifts you are also benefiting yourself? Research suggests its rewarding for both but more importantly the givers health and happiness.
Benefits of Giving:
Giving makes us feel happy - Scientists believe that altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high". 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton found that giving presents to someone else lifted participants happiness than spending it on themselves. The more you give, the happier you will feel. While gift-giving may be an important part of your Christmas tradition and what most people consider to be a “Christmas spirit”, materialistic aspects of Christmas may also undermine season happiness. Focusing on money, possessions, image and status distracts us from the experiences that enhances our well-being. Instead, focus on the social aspects of Christmas – family time and traditions, kindness and your relationship with others this may mean you will have a happier Christmas.
Giving increases gratitude- Maybe you are on the giving or receiving end of a gift. That gift can send waves of the feeling of appreciation throughout both parties. Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, co-directors of the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, found that teaching college students to “count their blessings” and produce gratitude caused them to exercise more, be more optimistic, and feel better about their lives overall. Expressing gratitude to a close friend or romantic partner strengthens our sense of connection to that person. A simple gift of gratitude is for free, to spend Christmas around your loved ones; you can create a day full of memories without expensive gifts.
Nothing defines Christmas more than the giving and receiving of gifts. Whether flowers, food, wine, or a carefully selected present, gifts can show appreciation, love and respect at any time of the year. What we all forget is Christmas is also a time to spend and share moments with loved ones that mean the most to you. An opportunity for giving and to be thankful for everything you have.
“You give little when you give your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran
Let Your Inner generosity Shine