Generosity: A Healing Factor
You know you live in a degenerate world when being self-centered is considered a sign of bravery while kindness and compassion are considered weak and even frowned upon. Self-centered people are not very productive members of society. They do not make a very positive impact on the lives of others. In fact, the way they conduct themselves often generates negative vibes for the people around them. This reminds me of a quote by Martin Luther King who said,
“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
On the flip side, generous and compassionate people are not only more productive members of society but also lead happier, healthier, and fulfilling lives. A number of studies have been conducted in this regard and all have come to the same conclusion: generous and compassionate individuals tend to have longer and healthier lives. In other words, you can consider generosity as an effective healer and stress-reliever.
Benefits of Generosity
Generosity brings with it lots of goodness, joy, passion, purpose, and freedom. One simple generous act of yours can set off a ripple effect that may get replicated many times over and deeply touch the lives of countless strangers. And the feeling of joy and elation that you get from it is unmatched. Because when you initiate a chain of generosity, you are not just helping others. You are helping your own self too and giving your physical and mental health a nice boost.
Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said,
“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
Many research studies have also shown that volunteering for some social work reduces the risk of depression and even lowers the death rate. Irrespective of your financial standing, selfless giving decreases stress and depression quite significantly. Your self-esteem gets better and you start to find more meaning in your own life.
In yet another study, researchers reported that people who provided a bag of food to a poor child instead of buying one for themselves felt much happier. This was true even for people who were having a hard time feeding their own families.
Therapy for Your Head and Heart
Medical experts claim that generosity can even reduce the occurrence of many chronic illnesses. Problems such as heart disease and blood pressure can largely be avoided by being a little generous and compassionate. Because you go out to meet different kinds of people and engage in healthy activities for social good, you start to feel a lot better both physically and mentally. As per the results of another study, adults who did volunteer work for around 200 hours a year reduced their risk of contracting high blood pressure by almost forty percent.
Of course, generosity does not just involve volunteering for social work or donating to charities and welfare organizations. Simple acts of kindness every day can have an enormous impact not just on the lives of others but on your own thinking and well-being. Most importantly, you do not need much to be generous. You can even be generous with your thinking about another person and not let negativity fill you up with hate.
How You Can Be More Generous
Like I said before, it doesn’t take much to be generous. You can do so in very small but incredibly meaningful ways. Take a look at a few examples below.
⦁ Keep Your Cool On the Road
I know the daily traffic mess that we all have to put up with can be too much. But it really helps to maintain your composure. Try not to react if someone makes a rash overtaking manoeuvre or cuts you off sharply. Instead, be grateful that this little stunt didn’t do any harm to you or your car. Forgive the naïve individual in the other car and move on. That person was definitely wrong with what he did, but you are the one who is hurting and stressful. So, don’t sweat it too much.
⦁ Show Some Love to Your Near and Dear Ones
Leave a love note and a piece of chocolate in your spouse’s bag or jacket pocket. Little gestures like this can often leave your significant other feeling better for the rest of the day.
⦁ Pay for Coffee for the Person Behind You In the Line at Your Local Café
Such little acts can often set off a chain where the person behind you will be touched and in return pay for the order of the person behind them. This can go on and on.
⦁ Give Some Food to That Homeless Person You See Every Day On Your Way to Work
Just seeing some homeless individual’s face light up when you give them something is worth the effort.
Practising generosity on a regular basis can have a profound, if not life-changing, impact on so many individuals. The best part is that you start to feel so much better by giving a little something to someone; be it your time, money, or attention. Simple acts of kindness can make life so much more beautiful. And that is exactly what the world needs more of.