There is a saying which goes, “It is better to give than to receive,” and this is especially true in the case of gift giving. Something much bigger is happening than simply giving a loved one a present which will bring them happiness. The act of giving leads to emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits. Our mind, body, and spirit react in ways that we don’t even realize. Regardless of whether the gift is big or small, the blessing of giving is immense.
In general, giving creates joy and happiness but science has also shown that it improves a person’s health overall. There are certain chemicals which are known as the Happiness Trifecta because they are responsible for driving the feeling of happiness in our brains. Namely, these are dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Any activity which increases the release of these chemicals will automatically increase one’s mood as well, and giving gifts is such an activity. A happy mood is just the beginning of the benefits which these chemicals offer. Serotonin also contributes to better sleep, memory, digestion, and learning. Dopamine is responsible for increased motivation. Oxytocin is known as an ancient neurochemical which decreases blood pressure, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and enhances the healing of wounds. So if giving allows us to trigger and activate these chemicals, we owe it to ourselves to give as often as we can.
There are even more positive affects when we participate in giving gifts. One of the questions we often ask ourselves when choosing the gift is whether the other person will like it or not. This act of putting ourselves in the shoes of other to be able to see from their perspective promotes the value of empathy in us. Gifting is a highly social activity as it connects us to our friends, families, and colleagues when we exchange gifts. Thus, it has been argued that gift giving can help fight loneliness as well. Self-gratification is also achieved by exchanging gifts as it makes us feel good about ourselves overall. So indeed, gift giving is the gift that truly keeps on giving!