It is more blessed to give than to receive December 15 2016


Image from Italian Decorator Alessandra Branca.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The holidays symbolically represent the season of giving. The good news is that a new study suggests that social support to others may even benefit the giver more then the receiver.

According to the study from the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, participants were divided into two groups, one group was asked to give and the other to receive. Both self-reported receiving and giving social support were associated with reduced vulnerability for negative psychological outcomes.

However, when the researchers conducted a series of MRI neuroimaging tests to explore the neural mechanisms of how specific brain areas were affected by giving versus receiving social support, they found that giving ultimately had greater brain benefits than receiving.

The power of giving reduces stress and activates the reward related part of your brain and the zone that gives you pleasure.

So when you are running around this holiday season and life seems to get a little overwhelming, know that you can always recharge with a little giving to the loved ones around you. It will be our little secret that you are getting the better part of that exchange.  

Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine