Kindness and the Power of Giving - Finding Out About the Benefits of Gift Giving to Mental Health

Photo by  Nathan Lemon  on  Unsplash

So, I’ve been thinking . . . .

. . We human beings are naturally a ‘community’ led species. It’s true, from early man, throughout the ages and across the world wide, we have come together and formed groups, sharing food and shelter, love and laughter, exchanging what we have for what we need, showing kindness and giving gifts. All ways of supporting the other members of our ‘village’, our tribe. We all have them, more importantly we all need them. Mama Tribes and NCT groups, Family Tribes, Book Clubs and School Mum networks. 

But it seems that as society and the modern world have evolved, we have lost much of the strength found in those connections, creating instead a more individualistic and inward looking world. The effects of this are not just physical but mental and emotional. Loneliness, anxiety, withdrawal and depression being some of the most common mental health issues being experienced. The APMS (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, 2014) found that 1 in 6 people will, in the past week, have experienced at least one of these mental health problems.

Photo by  Sydney Sims  on  Unsplash

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

The science bit…

The 10th of October marks World Mental Health Day, and knowing that mental health issues are becoming more and more prevalent in the world around us, I really wanted to think about how what we do in our everyday lives can help those around us, and how the power of giving can benefit our mental health. 

If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap
If you want happiness for a day – go fishing
If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune
If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else
— Chinese Proverb

We know that giving a gift will let the recipient know they have friends, make them smile and feel loved and cared for. Equally, we as the gift giver, feel warm and fuzzy inside from the joy we bring to our gift recipient. Don’t just take my word for it! Thanks to some very clever scientists who have done A LOT of research into the mental health benefits of gift giving, it has been scientifically proven that the happiness created in giving/receiving a gift actually has a hugely positive impact on a person’s overall health. These feelings will trigger the brain to release some pretty special neurochemicals, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, now quite wonderfully known as the Happiness Trifecta (sounds pretty awesome right?).

It’s great to give…

Take a minute to recall how you felt when you received something thoughtful from a loved one, and now think about a time when you gave someone something they really appreciated, how did that make you feel? Science shows that one of the strongest reasons we continue the tradition of gift giving is because our brains enjoy giving gifts even more than our brains enjoy receiving them

So how can we all make a difference today? The giving of a thoughtful gift doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on someone, a gift can be many things. Why not bake your Mum her favourite cake, learn the name of the person on your front desk at work and greet them every day, talk to the shy person in the office or at a party, give someone a genuine compliment  . . . right now, go on!!

Hand out smiles and friendly remarks. They are free
— Meik Wiking, 2017 CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagan
Photo by  Jeremy Cai  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jeremy Cai on Unsplash

Care for others, and yourself…

It feels good to be kind, it feels good to give a great gift and see the smile and happiness it brings. So if you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone you care about, then Studio Seed is here to help. We just love to spread joy through kindness and gift giving, and our luxeboxes can be handpicked by you, and hand wrapped by us, creating the perfect package to let someone know you are thinking of them.

The importance of giving to others shouldn’t overshadow the importance of self-care though, so please don’t forget to take time for yourself. Not just that, but you deserve a gift every now and then too …. you know where we are …

 Love, Tamsin xx

Tamsin RennieComment