We’ve all heard it before. There is joy in giving to others, but why? They say that the more you give, the more you will receive. But what is it about giving that makes us happy?
WHY WE GIVE
When you ask people why they believe you should give, the most popular answers include: God wants me to, I feel better about myself, or it’s the right thing to do. So whatever your reason may be for why you do it, the real power lies in how it makes you feel.
In my experience, I can’t feel anything else than happiness. When you focus on giving and helping others, you’re less likely to become consumed by your own worries and problems. Giving gives you the opportunity to step outside of your bubble and see the bigger picture.
The moment you step outside of your own world, you gain a great perspective on the idea that each person is fighting their own battle. And because life is already tough, you don’t have to be tough on them too.
THE POWER OF TRUE GIVING
The act of giving kindles self-esteem and brings happiness. One of the biggest obstacles in my life is linked to feeling helpless. I struggle to cope when my friends or family are going through a difficult time and I can’t do anything. But reinvesting in the idea of true giving has helped me a lot.
A while ago, I watched a video of Sheryl Sandberg (the COO of Facebook) being interviewed by Ellen Degeneres. It is during this interview when Ellen asked her to share advice on what people should or shouldn’t say to people who are going through a period of grief, which changed the way I looked at helping others.
Sheryl explained that you should just do something, instead of offering to do anything. Although we mean it kindly when we tell people to let them know if they need anything, we are actually shifting the burden back on them. This is because most people wonder what will be appropriate to ask and what not.
As she continues to explain her statement further, she tells the story of her friend who had to spend a lot of time in the hospital with his daughter. During his time there, a friend sent him a message to let him know he’s waiting in the hospital’s lobby to give him a hug if he wanted it. Such a small gesture, yet powerful beyond words.
This reminded me that giving is one of the best investments you can make towards achieving genuine happiness. Not only does true giving make me happy, it has taught me how to cope with my anxiety and frustration of feeling helpless.
The power of giving lies in the kindness and generosity that we show to others. And no matter what our circumstances are in life, we have the ability to give. So when you take the time to look for opportunities where you can give of yourself to others, the gift of joy will come to you.