The Mental Health Benefits of Giving Back

We all know giving back is just one way to help out your community, but did you know charitable acts can also help you? Explore the mental health benefits of giving back.

Provides Purpose

A lack of purpose can contribute to negative thoughts and feelings about oneself. When you donate your time or money, you instantly become connected to a network of people looking to better the world. This involvement and interaction with other donors and meaningful causes can incite a sense of belonging and purpose, eliminating negative trains of thought.

Encourages Gratitude

The recipient of your generosity isn’t the only one likely to feel grateful after your donation. Charitable acts can help us feel gratitude for the abundance in our lives. The self-reflection that follows gifting resources to others prompts a newfound appreciation for what we have.

Create a Helper’s High

Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin are all feel-good brain chemicals associated with joy, trust, and other positive elements that stem from relationships with others. Providing beneficial resources to folks in need and working with like-minded people to do so can spark a rush of these happy chemicals. This is known as the “helper’s high.”

The more you give back, the more your brain will experience this wave of positive chemicals. People who give back are known to have greater overall happiness, decreased susceptibility to depression, and a boost in self-esteem.

Ideas for Giving Back This Summer

If the mental health benefits of giving back have inspired you to act, you can easily get involved. Below, we’ve listed a few ideas you can try to support those in need within your community.

Care Kits

Care kits are simple and impactful resources that you can donate to people experiencing homelessness. Make sure you know what to include in a care kit for someone experiencing homelessness to ensure a meaningful donation.

Monetary Donations

Nonprofit organizations often have tight budgets, which means every monetary donation is a huge help. Always check for details on donation distributions before donating to an organization to ensure your money has the greatest impact.

Volunteering

If you can’t donate money this season, try donating your time! Plenty of charitable organizations accept volunteers, and many of them rely on generous folks for successful operations. Homeless shelters, community centers, animal shelters – you can choose a cause that speaks to you the most.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey