Posted on Friday 3rd of August

Why be generous and how to go about it

Why be generous and how to go about it

It has been well documented that people who are regularly generous of themselves, live longer, happier and more stress free lives than those who don’t. In 2006 a study found that when people give to charities it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect.

Just as giving to others has positive health benefits so does feeling and expressing gratitude. When we take the time to “count our blessings” to express

gratitude for something that has been done for us, it helps us to feel optimistic about the world and to feel better about our lives in general.

There are so many ways we can be generous to others and it need not involve money or gifts – consider these ideas:

- Smile and be friendly

- Volunteer to a charity or organisation

- Give something away that you no longer need

- Make a financial donation

- Stop to give someone a hand. E.G. changing a tyre, pushing a shopping trolley

- When you are driving, be generous to others, let pedestrians cross.

- Teach someone a skill you have

- Comfort someone in grief

- Lend your ear – we all need someone to listen to us now and again, resist offering advise unless invited to do so.

- Help someone on the edge - many of us know how it feels to be pushed right to the edge where you feel there is no way out.

- Help someone get active – offer yourself as a companion in running, jogging or going to the gym. You might be able to help motivate someone.

- Offer to do a chore for someone.

- Smile and be friendly

- Volunteer to a charity or organisation

- Give something away that you no longer need

- Make a financial donation

- Stop to give someone a hand. E.G. changing a tyre, pushing a shopping trolley

- When you are driving, be generous to others, let pedestrians cross.

- Teach someone a skill you have

- Comfort someone in grief

- Lend your ear – we all need someone to listen to us now and again, resist offering advise unless invited to do so.

- Help someone on the edge - many of us know how it feels to be pushed right to the edge where you feel there is no way out.

- Help someone get active – offer yourself as a companion in running, jogging or going to the gym. You might be able to help motivate someone.

- Offer to do a chore for someone.

- Send an email to someone you know, thanking them for being them and wishing them a happy day.

- Advocate for someone that finds it difficult. If you see that someone has difficulty going to a doctor, a lawyer, taking something back to a shop Etc, offer

to go with them.

- Donate food

- Give someone that is sick a care package e.g. food, tissues, lozengers, chicken soup, card, reading material.

- Show appreciation when people give and do things for you.

Remember too, that giving is contagious for you and the other party! Fowler and Christakis, who co-authored the book Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks found that when you give to people then those people are more likely to give to others and so on.

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