GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) – The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is Giving Tuesday, which this year is tomorrow, December 3rd! Giving Tuesday is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. This year, tons of companies are matching donations up to a certain dollar amount. For instance, Facebook will be matching up to $7 million of donations on Giving Tuesday. Isn’t that awesome?!
Priority Health joined me to talk about Giving Tuesday and the actual health benefits to giving and why it is important to give back to those in need. They also provide us with some great ideas on what to give those individuals in your life who may need some extra love!
Health Benefits to Giving:
- It makes you happier
- Giving is proven to release “feel-good” chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins.
- It lowers blood pressure
- According to a study published in the International Journal of Psycho-physiology, people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t.
- Lower stress and depression levels
- Researchers also found that people who gave their time to help others through community and organizational involvement had greater self-esteem, less depression and lower stress levels than those who didn’t.
- Live a longer life
- According to a University of California, Berkeley, study, people who were 55 and older who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t volunteer — even accounting for many other factors including age, exercise, general health and negative habits like smoking.
- Promotes cooperation and social connection
- These exchanges promote a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our ties to others—and research has shown that having positive social interactions is central to good mental and physical health.
- Evokes gratitude
- Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a gift, that gift can elicit feelings of gratitude.
- Researchers found that teaching college students to “count their blessings” and cultivate gratitude caused them to exercise more, be more optimistic, and feel better about their lives overall.
- Giving is contagious!
- A Harvard study shows that when one person behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people.