Why giving back is good for your health

Expect to feel a whole host of health and wellbeing benefits when you practise charitable behaviour. 

Transformational coach, Tammy Biton, encourages people to engage in charitable deeds of all shapes and sizes because of the impact it has on both parties, especially those who choose to give. "When we give back, we step away from our own problems, which has a physiological response as we are focused away from our own stress." she says, "It can put us into a state of gratitude as we remember to be appreciative of everything good we have in our lives." 

Connection and belonging

Charitable deeds don't have to be grand gestures. A simple smile or chat with someone can form an all-important, precious human bond. "Making these connections by opening ourselves up to people enables us to forge relationships with people who might not have the same social support we do," says Tammy. The Japanese philosophy, Ikigai, believes the key to long life is having a purpose. "Live by this and identify whatever gives you the motivation to get up in the morning," advises Tammy. "Remember, it's human connection and meaning that gives us purpose."

Removing excuses

Did you know that being charitable can help you to take charge of your actions and own your decision-making? "People make excuses quite easily. 'I don't have time', 'I've got kids' or 'I've got no money to spare' without realising how it can impact on their wellbeing," says Tammy. Try locking in a regular commitment to giving by making a pledge you feel passionate about.

Improving mental health

Thinking about others can be a great distraction and remove us from our own negative headspace. "So often when people have anxiety or depression, they're stuck in the negative and find it hard to remove themselves from the way they think. All of the attention is directed inward," Tammy explains. "When we give back, the focus shifts from internal to external, and the attention is on someone else for a while." A good deed can boost your confidence levels, as well.

Reducing inflammation

Turns out being charitable can also have positive physical effects on our bodies. "Basically, every single thought we have creates a chemical reaction. So when we are stuck in a state of anxiety, our immune function is compromised, causing inflammation and disease in the body," says Tammy. If you take time out to practise gratitude and give back, you'll soon note that along with your immune function improving, you'll be healthier and happier.

5 easy ways to give back

Be inspired to support your community through these simple initiatives:

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