giving gifts this christmas

This Christmas find out why giving gifts is good for your wellbeing

The act of gifting is an integral part of Christmas celebrations in two beautiful ways - not only does it make the receiver happy but is immensely beneficial for the giver as well.

Every Christmas, believing that Santa Claus came through our chimney to gift us something we wanted was an important part of growing up. These Christmas gifts transformed over the years, from toys to books, time passing merrily as kids became teenagers. The roles changed again, as we became adults, now responsible for giving gifts ourselves. Whatever the age, one thing has remained constant – Christmas has been unanimous with gift giving and receiving.

The act of gifting is an integral part of Christmas celebrations in two beautiful ways – not only does it make the receiver happy but is immensely beneficial for the giver as well. Truly, this practice in generosity spreads warmth and joy while having psycho-emotional benefits too.
According to the Bible’s New Testament, on hearing about the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, the three wise men from East travelled to the Palestinian town to offer gifts to the child. The practice of gift giving during Christmas has since evolved as a tradition to commemorate this heartfelt event.
Soulveda explores how giving gifts is not just a wonderful gesture during the festive season, but also great for one’s wellbeing.

Improves self-esteem

Gift giving does a world of good to one’s self-esteem. Seeing a sparkle in the eyes or a smile on the face of a near and dear one when we gift them something fills our heart with a sense of contentment. That moment makes us feel like we have the ability to bring joy and optimism in the life of others.

Neuro-scientific research has proved that during the act of gift giving, the reward circuit of the brain of the giver is more active and agile than that of the receiver. This circuit comprises of a group of neural structures related to our ability to feel pleasure. So the more we give, the happier we will be.

Helps bond emotionally

Gift giving is a novel way of expressing affection and care. Through the gesture of giving a gift, we convey the message that we care and value the receiver. In fact, a simple Christmas gift that is not overly expensive or rare yet is close to the sensibilities of the receiver can become the foundation for a lasting relationship.

When we give a thoughtful gift, the receiver not only accepts the gesture, but also the feelings of affection and care that the giver has towards them. The whole gesture helps two people bond emotionally and with a secure and strong friendship comes our overall wellbeing.

Aids mental health

The altruist and selfless act of gift giving is known to activate regions in the human brain associated with happiness, satisfaction and trust. Scientific research has also proved that the gesture of gift giving causes the release of feel-good chemicals in the body. This in turn boosts a person’s immunity and has a soothing effect on one’s mood and emotions.

Feelings of empathy, generosity and care, all coveted emotions across the length and breadth of the world, are associated with gift giving. When these feelings course through a human, it has a positive impact on their wellbeing.

Helps in practicing gratitude

Gift giving is akin to a token of expressing your gratitude. For instance, it is a symbol of showing how grateful you are to the teacher who mentored you in school, to a friend who stood with you during moments of emotional distress or to a colleague who extended moral or material support when you faced a setback at the workplace.

Indirectly, buying and giving gifts becomes an act of practicing gratitude that helps you treasure the people in your life. It helps you remember pleasant memories, embrace the positive aspects of life and identify your blessings.

Observe the next time you gift someone something thoughtful – the gesture will liberate you from a multitude of negative emotions like resentment, anger, comparison, jealousy, fear and frustration for a while. And it is known how gratitude helps build a stronger self.

Helps gift the self

In addition to having fun with friends and family members, Christmas is also a time to turn attention towards oneself. And this is where self-gifting comes in the picture – pay attention to what you need. It could be a book you have eyed for a while, a dress that keeps popping on your social media feed or walking across an adorable neighbourhood animal shelter regularly. Make it a point to gift yourself one or some of the things you have yearned for in the festive season. You are the most important person in your life, so your joy and wellbeing is essential in the long run.

Self-gifting can be materialistic like getting yourself a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, a bicycle or a box of nutritious dry fruits. Or it can be about self-forgiveness or letting go of emotions related to what went wrong in your past. Whatever self-gifting might mean to you, start practicing it from this Christmas itself.

Try and reserve some time daily for self-introspection to have a better understanding of your thoughts and emotions. The more in tune you are with yourself, the more outwardly happier you will be. Soon, gifting the important people in your life will not only seem natural but will also come naturally to you.

So make your Christmas gifts truly count here onwards!

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