When it comes to gift-giving, most people think about the holiday season, birthdays, graduations — you get the picture. It’s mostly expected to give a gift for major events or holidays, but what if I told you that there are plenty of benefits of giving that you’ll want to give all the time?
There are many reasons to give gifts, as it builds stronger connections, lifts your spirits, and improves your overall mental and physical health. So what’s stopping you from waiting until a special occasion to give a thoughtful gift to someone you care about? Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones that are given just because.
When investing in gifts for others, you’re not only benefiting them with an awesome gift but benefiting yourself. Check out these eight benefits of giving so that you can take advantage of all the great reasons to give no matter what time of the year it is.
1. Creates Stronger Connections
Gift-giving is one of the five love languages for a reason. You tend to feel closer to someone when you give them a gift while they feel more linked to you as well. This is because a thoughtful gift can lessen the distance between faraway friends or strengthen bonds for those who are near to you.
Connecting with people through gift-giving boosts your relationship and builds trust between one another, so when you want to enjoy the emotional benefits of a strong friendship, give them a thoughtful gift.
2. Makes You Feel Happier
One of the best feelings in the world is watching someone’s face light up with pure joy or excitement when they receive a gift you gave. Turns out, giving gifts releases “feel-good” chemicals in the brain like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. No wonder everyone feels good around the holidays!
This is known as the “helpers high” which is common in those who volunteer or give to charity often. So next time you want a mood-booster, try giving to someone, whether it be a gift, a favor, or a random act of kindness.
3. Builds Confidence
When you create stronger connections and become happier, you have a boost of confidence and sense of self-worth. Research has shown that those who often choose to give on their own accord have greater self-esteem than those who don’t. When you give to others, it’s hard to ignore that there’s definitely some benefits of giving when you feel happy and secure with confidence.
4. Reduces Anxiety
When you give, you become happier which in turn makes you feel less stressed and anxious. This is because there is a strong and undeniable connection between physical and mental well-being. Research proves that giving lowers stress and blood pressure. So when you give, you are happier, more confident, and way less anxious.
5. Evokes Gratitude
It’s no secret that those who receive a gift feel a sense of gratitude, but did you know the giver can feel it as well? Not only is giving a gift a common way to express gratitude but watching the receiver’s positive reaction evokes that same appreciation. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude boosts positive emotions, improves health, and contributes to overall greater happiness.
6. Promotes Good Karma
Justin Timberlake wasn’t wrong when he said, “What goes around comes all the way back around.” Whether you believe in karma or not, when you give you are more likely to receive. Studies show that when you give to others, your generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line, whether it be the person you gave to or someone else.
When you offer a selfless act like giving a gift without the expectation of something in return, you are promoting good karma (or whatever you want to call it) for yourself. The universe is mysterious like that sometimes.
7. Could Extend Your Life
Yeah, you read that right, giving could actually make you live longer. That’s because stress levels and high blood pressure are associated with a variety of health problems. Since giving has been linked to lower stress levels and blood pressure, people who give, whether it be gifts or acts of service, are expected to live longer.
A study done by The University of Michigan found that those who gave to loved ones like spouses, friends, or neighbors were independently linked to a lower chance of dying. If that’s not a good enough reason to give, I don’t know what is.
8. Spreads the Love
When one person gives, it inspires another to do the same. Even though giving your best friend gifts like a new T-shirt or hat is super cool, try giving to a stranger, a neighbor, or someone you haven’t talked to in a long time so you can spark inspiration that can cause them to want to do the same for others. Some great ideas include:
- Buying coffee for the person behind you in line
- Surprising a neighbor with freshly baked goods
- Leaving unused coupons next to matching products in the store
- Donating clothes to a local shelter
- Paying a toll for the person behind you
- Bringing in a tray of goodies for your coworkers to enjoy
- Sending flowers or treats to healthcare workers
- Doing the ‘tip the bill’ challenge next time you eat out
When you do an act of kindness, leave one of these cards to help spread the love and encourage others to give down the line — just because.
How To Give the Perfect Gift
Gifts allow people to express their feelings, show their appreciation for someone or just spread the act of kindness around the community. If you are trying to find the perfect gift for someone, check out these tips to get something that they’ll love and cherish for years to come.
Give a Personal Touch
Adding a personal touch to a gift is one of the best ways to make your friends or family light up with excitement. And we’re not just talking about customizing their name to a keychain. Whether it be a new notebook for their goal to start journaling or a heap of accessories of their favorite fandom, pay attention to what they enjoy, value, or need in their life.
You can even make it personal in a different way — personalized from you rather than for them. Paint them a picture, cook their favorite dinner, knit a scarf — you get the idea.
Make it Useful
Receiving a gift you know you’ll never use is a drag. So don’t be that person that gives a gift that has no use. We get it though, it can be hard to know what type of useful gift to get for someone, especially if you don’t know them well, or they tend to have unswerving practical tastes.
Think about things that are used regularly. Phone accessories like super chargers or trendy phone cases, bathroom essentials and toiletries, face masks, or food and drinks are all great go-tos that won’t fail.
Add Sentimental Value
Nine times out of ten, the most cherished gifts are the ones that have some type of sentimental value. Maybe it’s a scrapbook full of memories or a painting of a pet that passed away the year prior. Whatever it might be, if it touches their heart, they’ll be able to cherish it for years to come.
Don’t Blow the Budget
Don’t get us wrong, a lavish gift can be great, but it all depends on the occasion. If you are gifting just because, a simple yet thoughtful gift is the way to go. You don’t want to overwhelm someone with an overly-generous gift, right? Sometimes the most appreciated gifts are the simple and least expected ones.
Now that you know all of the great benefits of giving, we hope that you’ll take advantage of the free serotonin and spread kindness to your friends, family and community. Don’t forget to check out Redbubble’s extensive list of products designed and sold by artists so that you can find something that anyone in your life would enjoy.