Mental Health Benefits of a Gift

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Mental Health

It’s common knowledge that receiving and giving gifts makes us feel good. But did you know that gift experiences can affect your health? New research attests to the benefits of skills—not just as a positive experience for the recipient but also for the giver. According to science, a great gift experience can elicit positive emotions, promote cooperation and social connection, improve physical health, and decrease stress. But does it?

The emotional benefits
A recent Harvard Business School study found that humans tend to feel happier when giving a gift to someone else than when we buy something for ourselves. Happiness expert and psychology professor at the University of California, Sonja Lyubomirsky, saw similar results when she asked people to perform five acts of kindness each week for six weeks.

Lyubomirsky’s study found that when people give gifts, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. The warm fuzzy feelings that arise when we receive a gift also develop when we give someone a gift. Our brain then associates that positive experience with social connection.

The health benefits
A wide range of research has linked different forms of giving to better health. Researchers suggest that giving gifts may improve physical health and longevity because it helps decrease stress. In a study by Rachel Pierri of Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawyer of the University of Tennessee, people who valued giving [gifts] to others had a direct physiological benefit, such as lower blood pressure, than participants who didn’t.

Neurologists suggest that our brains are wired to derive pleasure from giving. Studies have found quantitative evidence that we feel greater happiness when spending money on others as opposed to when we spend the money on ourselves. The look on the recipient’s face when they open their gift provides a psychological lift to the giver. It triggers the release of endorphins into their brain, producing the same euphoric feelings of pleasure and joy we can experience after a challenging workout or when we’re falling in love.

Given all the research, it’s safe to say that gifting should be much more than just a year-end chore. It can help you build stronger social connections, live a longer, healthier life, and even jumpstart a cascade of gratitude through your workplace or community. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself benefiting from a great gift experience in more ways than one.

Health benefits associated with giving can include:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Less depression.
  • Lower stress levels.
  • Longer life.
  • Greater happiness and satisfaction.

Feeling happier

Biologically, giving can create a “warm glow,” activating regions in the brain associated with pleasure, connection with other people, and trust. This is why you feel excited when you’re about to give a gift to someone else (and why you feel close to them) or happy driving back from a volunteer experience.

There is evidence that, during gift-giving behaviors, humans secrete “feel good” chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a feel-good chemical), and oxytocin (compassion and bonding chemical).

When you look at the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities, scientists have found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center in the brain — releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.”

And like other highs, this one is addictive, too. So go ahead and reach out to someone in need, decide what charities you’d like to give to, and identify opportunities to give back to your community. Your mental and physical health will thank you – and so will the people you help.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What emotions do you feel when you receive a gift?

The look on the recipient’s face when they open their gift provides a psychological lift to another person. It triggers the release of endorphins into their brain, producing the same euphoric feelings of pleasure and joy we can experience after a challenging workout or when we’re falling in love.

What is the effect of gift-giving on you?

Research shows that gift-giving makes the receiver feel happy and cared for and yields a greater return for the giver. By giving a gift to someone, attention is deflected from their problems and stresses and makes them feel as if they are positively impacting someone else’s life.

What is the true meaning of gift giving?

The Definition of “Gift”

The actual definition of a ‘gift’ is the transfer of something without the expectation of payment. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free.

What is more satisfying, gift-giving or receiving? Why?

Research says you get more satisfaction from giving gifts than receiving. Usually, a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation is responsible for feeling less happiness whenever we experience some event or activity. We get used even to the best things and want more.

What do flowers represent in mental health?

Flowers and Plants Increase Happy Feelings. Studies have shown that flowers can induce creative energy and positive vibes, ultimately making us feel better. Nature can change our mood and ease stress. Flowers can free us from anxiety, depression, and the everyday worries of life. Each flower and flower color have different meanings and it impacts ones psychological and physiological well-being.

Does chocolate as a gift have psychological effects?

Chocolates contain Phenyl ethylamine, which stimulates the release of dopamine from the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that creates a feeling of pleasure and motivation. Chocolates also boost the production of feel-good hormones and endorphins from the brain.

How do you feel when you receive presents?

Loved, excited, and happy, there are a lot of adjectives to describe that feeling. Gifts bring immense happiness, which is intangible.

Is cake as a gift suitable for mental health?

Getting a cake can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress and improve your mental and physical health.

What does it mean to give jewelry as a gift?

Giving jewelry means giving something that makes people feel beautiful, meaningful, and desired. Even as a spiritual gift, jewels awaken one’s identity, making them happy wearing them.

How is chocolate helping mental health?

Chocolate contains Neurotransmitters. They trigger certain emotions and effectively reduce stress and pain; chocolate is known as comfort food. Endorphins help in alleviating depression as they act as sedatives and provide a feeling of pleasure and happiness

 FINAL VERDICT

The advantage of giving a gift including cake disposables is that when you decide to give somebody a gift, it typically means you are thinking about them. You will be thinking about what they might like, what you can afford, and that making these decisions is empowering for the gift giver. When you give a gift, it makes you feel generous, it makes you feel in control, it’s good for your self-esteem, and it’s good for the relationship because you come to know the person even better.