Shoppers are expected to spend more than a thousand dollars on gift-giving this holiday season. Although things may be a little pricier because of inflation this holiday, the payoff may not actually be in the gifts you receive, but in the health benefits of giving those gifts.
“Gift giving is always, you know, good for the person getting it right and the person giving it,” said Dr. Mona Shah, a holistic cardiologist with Baptist Health.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that gift-giving can lower your blood pressure, increase self-esteem, and lower depression. Evidence shows that when you give a gift, feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin are secreted in our brains, creating a “helpers high.”
“‘I’m so blessed that I have the, the funds and the money and the time to get gifts for these people.’ If you see it that way, what do you think their outcome is going to be with their stress levels and their happy hormones,” said Shah.
Another study out of the University of Michigan found that people who give gifts live 60% longer than those who do not. And in a study consisting of 432 elderly couples, over the course of five years, those who were giving were twice as likely to live longer.
“I definitely think gift-giving can be beneficial,” said Shah.
Much like other highs, the helpers high can be addictive. Be giving this season, and you may give yourself a longer, healthier life.
If you don’t have the money to give, giving your time can be just as beneficial. One study shows people who were 55 and older who volunteered were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period than those who didn’t volunteer, and that’s even accounting for other factors like age, exercise and smoking.