Did you know that no matter the amount of money you have, donating some of it can make you feel better? In the article “Worried About Money? Give Some Away,” Linda Wasmer Andrews explains why giving money to those in need can boost your spirits:
It can make you feel connected: In one theory, it’s believed that people who have less money are more generous with their funds because they know what it’s like to sometimes need financial help from family and friends. Giving money can make you feel like part of a community, whether it’s feeling closer to family and friends or becoming part of a cause.
You’re making a difference: When you give even a small amount, you can take your mind off of your own worries, financial or not, by helping someone else out. Give a dollar at the checkout stand or register to walk for a cause.
It gets rid of stress. In a study by the University of British Columbia, researchers found a connection between being stingy with money and cortisol, a stress hormone. In the study, economic students played a game where they were each given $10 and could either keep it or donate it. Of the students who kept more of the money, they felt more shame, which researchers predicted to be a cause of higher levels of cortisone.
Sometimes the hardest part about doing something new is just doing it. If you want to become a charitable giver it’s never too early or late to start. Show your kids that you think it’s important to give to things you find important so they can mimic your healthy habits. Have a conversation about the things that inspire you and find out what inspires or concerns them. Are they concerned about the earth? Or maybe less fortunate kids in other parts of the country or the world?
Kids, and adults, may not have a substantial amount of money to give in a lump sum. If so, set a goal for how much money you can save every month and put that monthly sum away for an entire year. At the end of the year, donate to your cause.
If you could give to one cause, what would it be? What’s one step you can take to start making this wish a reality? Share in the comment box below.
“Worried About Money? Give Some Away,” by Linda Wasmer Andrews. August 12, 2011. Psychology Today. Accessed on August 14, 2011. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201108/worried-about-money-give-some-away>