As we approach the end of the year, our thoughts center around giving. But as we prepare for the gatherings and feasts to come, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle and overlook those who aren’t as fortunate.
And what could be more rewarding than giving back to those in need? Whether you’re supporting a cause close to your heart or a global concern, there are plenty of ways to make a difference. Plus, there might be a few “hidden” benefits of giving that you weren’t aware of!
How Giving Benefits Your Health
But the benefits of giving back go beyond the act itself. Anybody who does it knows—giving back and helping others feels good. But did you know that it’s also good for you?
Here are a few ways giving back benefits you personally:
- Improves your mental health and outlook on life. Being generous improves happiness and emotional wellness. Research has proven time and again that brain activity associated with anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, and phobias is significantly reduced when people perform charitable acts.
- Reduces blood pressure. Stress reduction is associated with lower blood pressure, which may help to prevent heart attacks and stroke.
- May help you live longer. Science has linked a sense of purpose to longevity and better quality of life in older individuals, possibly because of reduced stress and a happier state of mind.
- Gives you a sense of purpose and belonging. Knowing you are making a difference in the community or the lives of others is a feeling like no other. Giving back to others imbues your days with deeper meaning, which is linked to greater life satisfaction.
- Improved cognition. Studies show that people with purpose have better memory and cognitive function.
But those feel-good hormones that course through your brain and body when you make someone’s day are just a side-effect of giving. The real reason we give is because we have access to things that others do not. And it’s not always about money, either. Sometimes, the greatest gifts you can provide are your time and attention.
Giving takes many forms, after all. You could be giving clothes or toys to low-income families or gathering items for the food bank so they can feed people who can’t afford groceries. Even if you don’t have much money to spare, you can always find places that need volunteers, especially during the holidays. Whether you pitch in at a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, or visit the local senior’s center or hospital, your time and a friendly smile are often just as valuable as cash on the table.
How Will You Give Back This Holiday Season?
There are many ways to contribute but choosing a cause that is meaningful for you and aligns with your business priorities is important. There are also tax benefits associated with charitable giving, so if you’re unsure, do some research before you open your wallet.
At Business Workspaces in El Dorado Hills, we have supported our local Toys for Tots chapter for many years, collecting new toys as gifts for kids who might not otherwise have them. Toys for Tots distributes 20 million toys to kids across America every year. It’s a yearly tradition that’s become part of our legacy. What’s yours?