Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Gift of Giving

Following on from the spending driven days of Black Friday last week and Cyber Monday yesterday, today is increasingly becoming known as Giving Tuesday, a global day devoted to thinking of others and giving back to the community.

Giving Tuesday began in 2012 to encourage people to donate their money, time and services to their community. Some examples include giving blood, donating to a charity, volunteering to help a charity or organisation, the list of how we can give to others is endless.

The idea of giving is, of course, one we are all familiar with, particularly at this time of year. The holiday season is a time when we traditionally give to others. However, we often see giving as about gifts rather than our time or services.

With many feeling the pinch of the latest government cuts and job losses, it is important to remember that giving something as simple as a smile or a kind act can brighten people's lives in ways that tangible gifts cannot reach.

And it is not just the recipient that benefits from your giving. In fact giving has been shown to release a similar 'high' of endorphins (the body's feel good chemical) as receiving or spending.

Research has shown that giving to others can actually boost your health and wellbeing and reduce stress too! And people who give their time in the form of voluntary work can look forward to improved mental wellbeing and a feeling of greater connectedness socially too.

Giving really is the gift that just keeps on giving! What are you giving this Giving Tuesday?

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