The joy of giving

When we talk about self-care, the initial response might be to focus on nurturing our own bodies and minds. But sometimes, taking the time to show a simple gesture of gratitude for another can in fact create a much larger sense of wellbeing and happiness for all.

When we give to someone else, the brain emits a physiological response, stimulating the production of oxytocin (also known as the ‘love hormone’). So, while we may not be the ones to actually receive, the benefits gained from the offering alone leave us brighter and more fulfilled than before. A small act of generosity has also been proven to help combat depression, lower blood pressure, and boost empathetic connections. 

True connection and generosity do not need to be contained to your wallet. It is a mindset and way of living which stretches beyond the physical. At its core, generosity is being present in the moment by placing value and showing gratitude to those who enrich our lives. It is a love-language, forged through listening and taking the time to know one another. A simple act of generosity can manifest a sense of care which words could never express. 

Remind yourself that generosity comes in many forms. You can be generous with your time, your words, and your intentions. Simply being available in key moments stands as a token that you are really taking the time for another person, reinforcing a sense of harmony and connection to those within our circle. In this, one might strive to reach beyond the self and touch upon the soul of another.

A few ways you can practice generosity are by striking up a conversation with a neighbor, or someone that often crosses your path that you had never thought to approach before. Surprise a friend with a handwritten card, or create a collage of your colleagues to show them you truly appreciate their presence in your life. 

The art of generosity comes with placing value on relationships by eliciting a shared sense of humanity in people that is so often hidden away, but lives inside us all. As Maya Angelou once summarized – when we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.