22 Mar 2023

Giving is Good For You

We learn as children that Christmas presents are as much about giving as receiving. I know I heard it, though I’m not sure I really appreciated it until I was an adult.

Since then I have learned that giving can actually be good for me. Being generous with my time as well as my money can be very fulfilling.

It’s no surprise then that the Foresight report on ‘Mental capital and wellbeing: making the most of ourselves in the 21st century’ (2008)*, commissioned to identify the wellbeing equivalent of “five fruit and vegetables a day”, cited Giving as one of its five findings. The report made suggestions for individual action, based on an extensive review of the evidence...

Suggestions for individual action

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger

Random acts of kindness can lift up anyone’s spirits, and you hold the power to make someone’s day with some small but selfless acts.

Thank someone

Showing appreciation makes people feel valued and drives them to continue doing their best.

Volunteer your time

Volunteering is not only very rewarding, it can provide you with new experiences, the ability to utilise your skills and is a great way to meet new people.

Join a community group

Community groups are a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, make new friends and feel a greater a sense of belonging.

Seeing yourself, and your happiness, as linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Of course we don’t have to do these things – and we may not be able to. But there are always options. Most communities have groups, events or opportunities where you can give, and be a part of something.

So don’t just gift for inheritance tax reasons, give for health reasons too!

(The author confesses a bias that he is a parkrun Event Director. Volunteering to marshal or help out occasionally is a wonderful way to give your time and support others in your local community.)

* Foresight's full report can be found here

Pictured Below: 'Everyday Performance' by Jim Constable and Barry Wyatt – "an entertaining, informative and easy read on how to perform better at what you do!"

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