Research confirms that helping others can dramatically increase our own sense of well-being and belonging. Being aware of our own acts of kindness elevates our sense of satisfaction and self-esteem, making benefits long lasting.
The beneficiaries of our giving could be friends, acquaintances or even strangers from whom we expect nothing in return.
It is the mere act of giving that releases chemicals in our brain and increases our state of happiness. Some givers report feeling a greater self-confidence, control and optimism from giving. Awareness of the hardships of others can certainly put our own stressors into perspective. It can also invite us to rethink our sense of entitlement in life in key areas like health, money and relationships.
On a larger scale, our acts of kindness can be far-reaching and contagious, encouraging others to act with kindness as well. The gift of giving can contribute each day to building a more positive community for all.
Giving at McGill: