Do You w ant to really make your kids happy? Teach them the importance of giving to others.
When we make others happy by giving a gift or our support, we experience a physiological change called a helper’s high. It is a euphoric physical sensation resulting from our brain releasing chemicals called endorphins. According to Psychology Today, the helper’s high is a literal “high,” similar to a drug-induced sensation. It makes us feel good naturally, giving us a rush that leaves us elated and excited. This positive energy is similar to how we feel after exercising.
In his book, “Why Good Things Happen to Good People,” Stephen Post, a professor of preventative medicine explains that giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illness. In addition, a 2006 joint study by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Tennessee indicated that people who helped others had lower blood pressure and less feelings of stress than participants who did not.
Promotes Social Connection
When we give, our generosity is ultimately rewarded by others. These positive actions promote a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our relationships. Moreover, we feel a bond towards those who we help. All of this is important because having positive social interactions is central to good mental and physical health.
Encourages an Attitude of Gratitude
When we give to those in need, we feel a sense of gratitude because it puts things in perspective. Volunteer work is a great opportunity for our children to appreciate what they have and gives them a glimpse of the broader world. Meanwhile, gratitude is another very important ingredient for happiness and good health.
Gives Children the Opportunity to Inspire Others
Those who are on the receiving end of a good deed typically want to pass along that positive feeling and help others. Researcher James Fowler found that just one act of kindness can inspire several more acts of kindness by others. In this case, children have the opportunity to be a mentor to others, inspiring a chain of kindness and compassion.