The Benefits of Giving & Giving Tuesday  

The holiday season is finally upon us! While we are thinking about filling up our social calendars or rushing out to buy the perfect present, it’s important to take a moment to remember that this is also the season of giving.    

Each year, Giving Tuesday marks the beginning of the holiday giving season. It’s a time when charities, organizations, and individuals come together to rally for their favourite cause. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, so does the giving community on Giving Tuesday.  

For our 10th Year Anniversary campaign at the Centre, we are asking you to invest in each other’s well-being by “Investing in Happiness” this Giving Tuesday. If mindfulness has positively impacted you, we hope that you choose to share our message or donate to us so that we can help people everywhere live happier lives!  

The Benefits of Giving

We hear it time and again – giving back to others comes with many benefits. It is known that this stems  from humans being social animals, who are wired to build community and help each other as they progress. Giving is also known to reinforces a sense of social connection and belonging. But how do we actually know that giving makes us happier?  

Does Giving Actually Make You Happier? 

Psychologists ran a series of studies to see what brought longer lasting joy – was it spending money on themselves or others? The experiments were based on allowing an individual to spend $5 on themselves or give it away, either in a tip jar or an online charity donation.

The findings published in the journal Psychological Science, showed that when the participant repeatedly gave away their money, their happiness did not decline. Moreover, the joy they felt from giving to others on the fifth day was just as strong as on the first day, leading to a steady state of happiness. 

In contrast, participants who spent money on themselves reported a steady decline in happiness over the five-day period. They were less happy in comparison to the group who donated their money.  

Physical Benefits of Giving 

Let’s look at what this type of happiness does for us internally. There are many physical benefits to giving that actually impact the chemical makeup of our body. Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin make up something known as the Happiness Trifecta. These chemicals are released when an individual donates, lends a helping hand or even volunteers. It’s really that simple. The more consistently one gives back, the more their body will produce these feel-good chemicals. 

We hope these findings encourage you to implement more generosity into your daily life, as a way to invest in your own happiness. Donate to your favourite charity this Giving Tuesday and experience the benefits for yourself! 

Blog Article by Chetna Suri

Chetna is a writer for the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and is working to connect more individuals to mindfulness-based practices. She’s a previous student of the MBCT, and MBSR programming. Since graduating from the University of Toronto she’s worked as a digital writer and is passionate about mental health advocacy. 

 

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