You don't need to do huge philanthropic work like Bill Gates to do good in the world. It can start with the people around you. Change the world one person at a time, and at the same time change yourself.
How many times have you heard:
“People are naturally selfish and everyone just looks out for themselves.”
Recent studies have shown that humans ARE NOT naturally selfish! In the study, researchers discovered that even if the brain that controlled generosity was interpreted, the participants still acted generously out of impulse. It showed selflessness being a natural response, rather than a conscious effort.
Great news for people who want to build a habit of gift giving, since it is a natural impulse to be generous. If you have ever experienced a phase of just receiving and never giving, you will know that it wears on you after awhile.
Constantly taking and never giving back can actually prevent happiness, the one thing that people around the world are looking for.
Psychologists say that giving without expectation of receiving anything in return, and purely just doing it in the kindness of your heart will definitely improve your mental health.
It's more than just feeling that you are a good person, but also seeing the emotional response and gratitude from the receiver that warms up your heart. Which is why rarely do you see a sad face during Christmas or birthdays! But this doesn't have to be a holiday or special occasion to provide and receive happiness!
Here are some tips that will help accomplish your goal of building good habits in gift-giving to improve your mental health:
Don't think that gift giving is only for Christmas, birthdays and special occasions. People are generally expected to provide gifts during those times, so when we give gifts randomly, others are even more flattered and surprised. The kind of happiness that selfless giving bestows upon the giver.
Gift giving doesn't have to be expensive, it's more the thought and gesture that matters. The best way to start this little habit is by creating a list of people in your life that you want to bless and give them something without an occasion.
These people will be surprised and pleased at your generosity. Find something that shows you do pay attention to these people and the details of their lives.
If you have the means to help the people around you, go ahead and do it! By doing so, you are taking action and at the same time building mental habits. The action you take will send endorphins to your brain which is a reward that you will feel. Slowly, this will build into a habit, which will change your life from caring of your own needs to others as well. Although this is not the purpose of helping others, but you will notice the people you help will want to reciprocate. The feeling of mutually helping one another is absolutely amazing!
Selfless is a great trait. But also have common sense! You don't want to overextend beyond what you are capable of, whether emotionally, physically or financially.
As mentioned above, it's not expected, but every here and there, receiving a gift is always nice as well. There is a fine balance in treating yourself and others that go hand in hand in obtaining happiness. Many people often are confused about their self-worth by associating it with the value of the gift. You are who you are, and it should not be associated with the gifts you give or receive.
Treat yourself once in awhile! Plus, who knows you better than you? (Mayba mama)
We live in a consumeristic culture today, especially with gift -giving. Take a moment and think. We all fall prey to associating the cost of our gift to the value of the person. If I pay for a more expensive gift, does it mean I care about this person more? Maybe I just earn more money than the average working class. Big brands do a fantastic job brainwashing consumers this. We have all heard the saying “It’s the thought that counts,” but is it true? But it seems that we all want something fancy, Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc.
I'm glad about the millennial shift, they are noticing more of the boutique brands that create products of value and not just overprice a product due to a brand name.
And if you truly care about someone, you will know what he/she likes. There are so many great companies creating beautiful handcrafted goods that are well designed. These smaller brands really focus on finding their core group of customers. Customers that truly love what these companies are doing.
Gifts don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Details in knowing that person is far more important. Knowing what their favorite cooky is, buying them lunch at their favorite restaurant, or planning ahead for them a gift they've been waiting for.
The point is to think about what the person needs or wants, and then provide it by observing details. The recipient will recognize that you are paying attention them, caring for them, noticing details about them, which comes to show how much you truly care. Seeing the thought behind your gift-giving will then have a far greater impact. And seeing that big genuine smile from the other person will help you discover appreciation and happiness that comes from selfless giving.
As you start this new habit and improve your mental health, remember that it's not the value of the gifts, but the act of giving that brings happiness. Don't be turned away by the skeptics, just be true to yourself and eventually people will recognize that kind heart.
As you continue this healthy journey in gift giving and spreading your love to others, you will find more goodness in people and make this world a better place for everyone.
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