Giving back to people can bring a multitude of health benefits into play. For those who suffer from anxiety, the connection we make with someone when we exchange gifts, when we give back to someone who we care about, when we show someone we care even if they don’t reciprocate, can be so beneficial to your mental state. The Christmas period is the very best time of year to put this into practice; when festive cheer is high, the season of giving, and to offer something to someone who perhaps is not as fortunate as you.
Giving is a wonderful thing but the term ‘giving’ is under such a huge umbrella, there are many ways to ‘give’ and so many opportunities to do so, so what exactly does the act of giving do to your central nervous system, your mind and your general well being? The benefits can, of course, be subjective, it depends upon the reason for giving, what we are giving and who we are giving it to. The sense of satisfaction, however, does remain the same and a study run by the Department of Economics at the University of Oregon have even looked deeply into research statting that the areas of the brain that are stimulated by giving back are those areas that are linked to the areas activated by eating good food and even sex.
Are There Proven Facts Behind It?
Yes, it is believed so. Many universities nationwide have conducted a plethora of research surrounding the act of giving and the psychology behind it. It is believed also, that those who become engaged in helping others in the community, or even just acquaintances, running errands and assisting people with child care or cooking meals for the elderly, reduced their mortality rates compared with those who do not help. The brain is stimulated by the experiences that we endure. For anxiety, if someone has had to deal with PTS or has been affected in earlier life by situations, our brains close off, it has a negative effect on us, people who choose to be rude or speak to you in a certain tone can trigger us.
If someone is recovering from a lifelong addiction problem, there are other triggers that could make someone want to turn back to their addiction. Distraction is a positive key, to keep the mind distracted by bringing a little happiness into someone else’s life. This time of year, around the holiday season, there are so many ways to give back a little. We will look at the ways in which giving back can be beneficial for your health and why it’s such a positive aspect of one’s life. Giving is a selfless act; if you are giving something to someone, such as a gift, a donation to charity, you’re giving someone something they have not asked for but something they probably want or need. It instills a sense of inner power and strength, that you are capable of doing something good for someone; a sense of satisfaction and personal growth. Seeing the delight on their face, followed by a warm embrace is on its own a very personal, intimate and important benefit to self-help. Physical human contact is incredibly healing in itself.
How To Give Back
The ways to give back are endless; during Christmas there are plenty of hospices, homes and charities that are desperate to have donations, in fact they are in dire need of them. Homelessness again is another issue that we have across the nation, there is always something you can do to aid those who are less fortunate than you.
Stay warm by staying indoors whenever the sun is low. Turn on the central heating when necessary and consider wrapping up in an extra blanket when you go to bed to stay warm. If you’re going outside, make sure you wear extra layers until you’re more comfortable with the temperatures.
Pack up a bag of toys, clothes, books for children who are in hospital over the Christmas period. Help out at a homeless shelter for an afternoon and help feed some people who have been craving a hot dinner.
Give gifts to those who won’t expect it
There is nothing better than having someone be surprised at receiving your gift. If someone has been kind to you at work during the year, or a neighbor who is sat alone most of the time, friends you haven’t spoken to in a while but you know are always there for you, give a little back to them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the replies you may have.
Donate to food banks
So many people live in poverty and the statistics are constantly rising. Donating food can be such a rewarding experience. If you enjoy baking or cooking, make some cakes that you can give away this season.
The opportunities are endless, there are so many ways to give back in your local community. See the following link for more tips: https://www.countryliving.com/life/g24995021/giving-back-community/. Immersing yourself in other tasks, naturally leads you into seeing the bigger picture; it allows you to see the world through new eyes, you are never alone, many other people have problems too. Depression is linked to self-worry and self-referential thoughts. So how do we stop this? Spending time outdoors, giving back to the community, taking time to stop thinking about our own minds and put our efforts into helping someone else; it’s about breaking a very thick chain. Mental anguish is very real, but the more we can start to break the cycle of worry, fear and anguish, we can begin to repair our physical health also.
Our mental state is connected very closely to our physical state. Those who suffer with anxiety may have certain cardiovascular-related issues, palpitations, migraines, tiredness and fatigue and your immune system drops. When we begin to shift the focus and ease the chaos inside by the techniques above, then we can start to see improvements with our auto-immune function and mindset. Tapping into what makes us motivated may take a little further research within ourselves. What will drive you to make these changes? Perhaps it’s the need to have a fresh start, to build a happier and healthier lifestyle, to grow as a person, to learn and to connect with others on a deeper level. The ability to help someone is the most powerful human tool; for all those involved.