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It Is Better To Give Than To Receive

gift

Have you ever noticed how good it feels to give to others?  You know, that warm feeling you get when you write a check to your favorite charity or lend a helping hand to a friend or someone in need?  The Grinch, a character from that Dr. Seuss book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” had to find out the hard way.  He was a bitter cave-dwelling creature who never gave and only took.  Despite his success in stealing from Whoville, he wasn’t happy.  Not to give away the ending, but eventually he realized that happiness is found not in getting gifts, but by sharing and giving to others.

Why it pays to give
So, it feels good to give, but did you know that giving is actually good for your health?  Studies have shown correlations between mental health and helping others.  Researchers have found that by thinking about others, people focus outside themselves, countering anxiety and depression, which are self focused.  As a result, people who give tend to have better mental health and are happier than people who do not.  Of course, it is important not to neglect yourself completely, because that will have a negative effect on your health as well.

There are many ways to give
That’s not to say that you need to jeopardize your financial well being to get a health benefit.  Sometimes we can’t afford to give money, especially in these tough economic times.  The beauty of giving is that it doesn’t have to always come in the form of a check.  If you can’t afford to give money to your favorite charities this year, try volunteering some of your time instead.  Sometimes, the gift of time is worth more than money. Below are some suggestions of things you can do to lend a helping hand.

  1. Volunteer at your local charity organizations: You could help out at the local soup kitchen, make calls to help get donations, be a big brother or sister to a troubled kid, clean our parks or highways, etc.. Find something you think would be worthwhile to do and then go ahead and do it.
  2. Raise money for a cause: If you like to exercise and compete, you can run or walk to raise money for a noble charity.
  3. Help family or friends: You don’t have to go far to find people to help.  Sometimes, the most important thing to do is take the time to listen to friends and family when they want someone to talk to or lend a hand when they need some help.  Just remember, balance is important.  You have to leave time to take care of yourself as well.  If you fall apart, you won’t be any good to yourself or anyone else.
  4. Help an elderly person: If you know an elderly person who has few family or friends nearby to help them, you can drive them to a doctor appointment or take them shopping occasionally.  Sometimes, just visiting with them regularly, so that they have something to look forward to is enough.  You will be surprised how little things like that can mean so much to someone.  Trust me.  As a physical therapist, I’ve worked with many elderly patients over the years.

The bottom line is, if you invest your time or money in helping others, you will be rewarded with better mental health.  It makes sense to me.  Helping others has always made me feel better almost instantly.  So, it’s better to spend some of our spare time helping others rather than watching more television or, worse yet, feeling sorry for ourselves after a hard day at work.  I plan on taking that advice myself, and I hope that others will, too.

Comments (3)

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  1. JD says:

    So i used to volunteer at local Y to teach kids health tips. I can highly recommend the feeling of purpose when you help others …. it becomes infectious.

  2. […] With all these bankruptcies, foreclosures and job losses occurring, we discuss what seems an inevitable rise in homelessness. Times are tough, so if you can help out someone in need through donation to a charity or through volunteering your time, consider doing so. From a financial stand point, it’s a write off. From a personal standpoint it’ll make you feel good and improve your health. Don’t believe me? Check out Talli’s article on it at BeingHealthy.tv. […]

  3. Mark says:

    I agree 100% Nice post!

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