To Give: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow *
Today is a guest post by the lovely Ronna Wiseman of SelfCareHappy.com.
"Giving is more than an exchange of physical gifts or time. It's a shift in your consciousness that affects not just the receiver, but you as the giver by making you happier, fostering greater connectivity, and more." ~Unknown wise person
Can you remember how you felt the last time you gave your time, energy, or money to something you care deeply about? All acts of generosity, no matter how big or small, have the potential to create a profound effect on you, your community, and the world.
A friend of mine broke her foot last year and needed some help from her friends. Three of us friends discussed how we would help her, each one of us committing to a particular day to go to her home, spending time with her and helping her out where she needed with things like cooking, laundry, and just good company. One friend seemed to have gone over and beyond with her caring and generosity. I felt like I should do more.
Then I thought about that. What level of giving is good enough? I realized it doesn’t matter if others give more than you. It just matters that you give.
With Thanksgiving and the holidays quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to consider what giving means to you. During the holidays, the spirit of giving is in the air, and it’s probably in the forefront of your mind. But when the festivities are over, you may forget how powerful giving can be. I would ask you consider the generous spirit of the season to serve as a catalyst for cultivating a “giving practice” that continues throughout the year.
Keep in mind generosity can be simple and you can adjust it to suit your life. You can give your time, even just a few minutes makes a difference. You can give your money, whether it's a dollar or whatever amount you choose to donate. You can give a warm smile to a stranger you pass by. You can give your support by giving asked for advice. You can give your enthusiasm for a cause.
When you integrate more giving in your life, you might begin to notice some valuable lessons this practice can offer. Here are 7 powerful lessons you can learn from giving:
1. Giving makes you happier. Giving not only creates positive feelings in the person on the receiving end, but it has also shown to be a powerful mood booster for the giver.
2. Giving improves your physical and emotional health. Giving can decrease stress level, lower blood pressure, and increase longevity.
3. Generosity is contagious. Every act of giving has the potential to create a ripple effect of generosity that as limitless potential.
4. Giving helps you stay connected. We are wired for social connection. No matter how self-reliant you are, at some point, you need other people in order to survive (whether it be emotional or physical survival needs).
5. Giving can help you find your calling. Focusing on others through acts of generosity can teach you a lot about yourself. Giving can not only provide you with a sense of purpose, it can also help you discover work you’re passionate about.
6. Giving can change the world. All great changes start with small actions. Your generosity, in the form of time, energy, money, or attitude, has the potential to affect powerful change in the lives of other people and creatures. Your act of giving sets off a chain of small meaningful actions that lead to big change.
7. Giving to yourself is important. You must give to yourself to be of any use to others. And giving to yourself can be simple. Giving to yourself in small acts of self-care…..going to a yoga class, drinking a warm cup of tea, listening to your favorite music, sitting outside in nature, playing with your pet, creating a piece of art…..will better position you to give to others.
When you make it a giving practice, you are likely to discover you feel happier and more fulfilled in the process.
Ronna Wiseman has a big heart and a big mission. She supports women to achieve long-lasting transformation through self care and personal empowerment. By applying simple and practical self care habits, it’s possible to become your best self and live your best life. To start your path to a higher level of happiness and joy, check out her website at www.selfcarehappy.com or her Facebook page at @selfcarehappy.
*Definition of Give from Dictionary.com