Science Matters

Giving Is A Science — A Simple Act Of Kindness That Goes A Long Way

This is your science project for the next month

Simon The Fourteen
ILLUMINATION
Published in
6 min readNov 16, 2022

--

Illustration of the word GIVE with 2 hands holding the sign on each sides. Giving is a Science. Act of kindness
Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

We've all heard the saying,

“It’s better to give than to receive.”

But have you ever stopped to think about why that is?

It turns out there's a science behind it. Giving makes us feel good on different levels — physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Neuroscientist Explains Why It's Better to Give Than to Receive

In less geek's terms than Neuroscientists, let's take a closer look at how giving can benefit us as we now enter soon into the epicenter of "givingness" for the upcoming holidays because, yes, it will come fast.

Physical Benefits of Giving

When we give, our brains release oxytocin — a hormone sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone.”

Source Harvard Medical School

Oxytocin is associated with happiness, stress relief, and calming sensations. In other words, giving makes us feel good physically!

-Stress Relieve

One of the physical benefits of giving is that it can help to reduce stress. Stress is a normal response to situations that we perceive as threatening or challenging.

When we experience stress, our bodies release hormones that prepare us to either fight or flee from the perceived threat.

While this response can be helpful in dangerous situations, chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.

-Can boost your immune system

Another physical benefit of giving is that it can boost your immune system. The immune system is our body's defense against infection and illness.

When stressed, our immune system is less effective at fighting disease. However, when we give to others, our body releases hormones that help to reduce stress and improve the function of our immune system.

Emotional Benefits of Giving

On an emotional level, giving can help us feel more connected to others. When we give selflessly, we send the message that we care about others and are invested in their well-being.

This feeling of connection can be beneficial for both the giver and the receiver.

And it's not just our emotions that benefit from giving — studies have shown that people who give regularly are also more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction with their lives overall.

-The Warm Fuzzies

When you give to others, it feels good. It's a natural high that comes from making someone else's day a little brighter.

Whether it's giving your time, money, or energy, giving creates what some people call "the warm fuzzies."

This feeling of happiness and satisfaction is one of the emotional benefits of giving.

-A Sense of Purpose

Another emotional benefit of giving is a sense of purpose. When you help others, you can feel like you're making a difference in the world.

Whether you're volunteering your time at a local soup kitchen or donating money to a worthy cause, giving back can make you feel like you have a purpose in life.

And when you have a sense of purpose, you're more likely to be happy and fulfilled.

Mental Benefits of Giving

Giving can also benefit us mentally. That's because when we give, we're actually exercising our brains!

When we decide to give — whether it's our time, money, or resources — we're using executive functioning skills like planning and decision-making.

And like any other muscle in our bodies, the more we use these mental muscles, the stronger they become; regular exercise has been shown to improve mental health overall, so it makes sense that giving would have similar benefits.

-Giving Makes You Happier

One of the best things about giving is that it can make you happier. Numerous studies have shown that giving to others makes us feel good.

One study found that people who give to charity are 42% more likely to say they're "very happy" than those who don't give. Why? Because giving activates the parts of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust.

So, if you're looking for a way to boost your mood, start by doing something nice for someone else.

Believe It Or Not, It's Not Only for Humans

Two chimpenzees playing together on the grass
Created by Author

In the last few years, we've seen incredible advancements in understanding animal behavior.

For example: did you know that some animals give gifts?

Like chimps!

A new study has shown how these Chimpanzees order their troops to be generous when someone else is looking on their behalf of them — so if an enemy threatens another group member then all members will come to save him or her without question because they know what type of reputation this individual closure holds amongst other groups.

Source: Science.org

Benevolent Bugs

The firefly gives a nuptial gift that can extend the female's lifespan.

During sex, males provide their mates with sperm packs and nutrients called spermatophores which are transferred when fertilized by them to make eggs fertile for breeding purposes, or so she has enough energy and the extra nourishment inside that extends her life!

Vampire Bats

Vampire bats are tiny creatures that feed on blood, but only if it is available to them. They will share their meal with other generous bats who have been helpful and refuse to give blood to other bats that have been selfish in the past.

Much like me! I will start to like bats

In a Nutshell

Giving really is better than receiving! Not only does it benefit the person on the receiving end of our generosity, but it also benefits us physically, emotionally, and mentally.

So next time you're considering making a donation or performing a random act of kindness, remember that you're not just making someone else's day — you're also doing yourself a world of good. You are participating in the most significant natural science experiment!

Speaking of healthy habits, here is a post that you may like

-Please CLAP if you liked my post. It's free!

-Follow me on Twitter for RAW posts and comments

-Please subscribe with my Medium link for many great posts from me AND from anybody else here.

--

--

Simon The Fourteen
ILLUMINATION

I'm a foodie, fitness enthusiast, and health nut but also a money-savvy dude. I Love to write tips about my life experiences and perceptions of my passions.