Giving can resemble the smallest contribution from connecting with a stranger through a smile or holding a door open for someone. Why not go that extra step further by kick-starting someone’s day with a friendly hello. Or make sure it ends on the right note by letting them know you’re thinking about them. You could even give some of your time working in a charity shop to volunteering at a food bank. All of these actions can contribute to giving you a ‘helper’s high’ to boost your own wellbeing.

How to Give

When you are being a giving person, it’s important to self-reflect and think about how you’re feeling yourself. It’s okay to limit yourself if you’re struggling for time. Providing even the smallest help can still make a big difference. As a student with revision, seminars and assignments time can be especially hard to find. Talking with the initiatives that you’re volunteering your time for can help you to set realistic commitments. It might be a good idea to make your arrangements over longer periods of time so that you don’t feel pressured into contributing or committing too much.

I volunteer at a local food bank, which I thoroughly enjoy. Although, sometimes I feel like I don’t have the time or energy to contribute fully. However, the feeling and privilege of being able to help the less fortunate and most vulnerable in my community is something that fills me with pride and ultimately makes me want to continue.

The Impact

There is scientific evidence that proves that giving leads to the helper’s high. This is when a kind act stimulates the release of chemicals in the brain’s reward centre that improves emotional wellbeing and reduces stress in the long term. From my personal perspective, I’ve found this stress reduction can be particularly useful around exam season.

Giving is beneficial and important as it promotes social co-operation and connection. When you give to others, your generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line. Sometimes this is from the person you gave to. It could also be from someone else! Gratitude and cultivating a kind attitude in society is great for all, as it can improve an individual’s attitude to life

Giving is much more than a seasonal chore confined only to the festive season. Everyone can help by giving, and all can benefit from the effects which include stronger social connections and more generous approaches to life.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill.

By Lucas Butler