The Benefits of Giving

Centre for Mindfulness Studies 2 minute read November 4, 2021

The Benefits of Giving

We hear it time and again – giving back to others comes with many benefits. This stems from humans being social animals, who are wired to build community and help each other as they progress. Giving also reinforces a sense of social connection and belonging.

Does Giving 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 giving 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 in your daily life. There are so many simple and easy ways, such as supporting a friend, donating to your favourite charity, or random act of kindness.