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The health benefits of gift giving

We’ve all heard that old refrain - it’s better to give than to receive. However, studies indicate that might actually go beyond the warm and fuzzy feel-good factor and actually have physical and mental health benefits as well. Good news, given the fast approaching festive season of gift giving, and the perfect topic of conversation for World Kindness Day…

You never believe it as a child, but as we grow up, we know there’s enormous pleasure in the anticipation and realisation of giving someone you care about a gift that really makes them happy. And that feeling of joy can have a profound impact on our own health. Now, that isn’t just about giving a superbly beautiful bottle of wine to someone, giving is at its most rewarding when it’s about lending meaningful support to someone. 

Giving creates a natural high

According to a study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who give, and in particular those who give their time to others, have lower blood pressure, greater self-esteem, less depression and lower stress levels than those who don’t.

Also, giving can create a warm glow, sometimes described as ‘helper’s high’ brought on by feel-good chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. It activates regions in the brain associated with pleasure, connection with other people and trust. When researchers from the National Institutes of Health looked at the functional MRIs of people who gave to various charities, they found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward centre in the brain. 

Giving quality time with spa gift vouchers

Now this is a time of year that is all about giving, whether it’s time or presents, the most powerful thing though is to give something that really has meaning. To us, it seems that the most precious thing you can give is quality time. It’s not the easiest thing to package up under the tree, but with a spa gift voucher, you can…

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