5 Ways Giving Back Will Make You Happier


Americans are generous people. approximately 70% of us donate to charity every year. Additonally, each year about 3% of all American income is donated to a variety of charities. In turn, American non-profits add more than $666 billion to the country\’s economy. There are a lot of ways to help others by donating. Not everyone has money they can give but many people can make American Red Cross clothing donations.

Helping other is a great way we help ourselves. Here are some of the benefits of donating.

  • Giving back makes us healthier. Multiple research studies have touted the health benefits of making clothing donations or volunteering. Stony Brook University research has shown it cdan help people with chronic illneses such as Diabetes, HIV and multiple sclerosis. Other research has shown it can help people live longer. Those who volunteer are less likely to die over a five year time frame than those who do not. The reason? Donating time and items reduces stress levels. People who make donations to charity have lower blood pressure than those who do not.

  • Donating time or stuff makes you feel good. Some call it the \”helper\’s high\” or \”warm glow effect\” but overall people who donate to help other people feel better about themselves and are generally happier than those who do not. The National Insititues of Health (NIH) has found that when you volunteer, the parts of your brain that are associated with pleasure are activated. When you do things for others, your brain releases endorphins and oxytocin that make you happier and more connected to the people around you.
  • Giving back can help strengthen your bonds with the community. People who make American Red Cross clothing donations or volunteer at a charity are more likely to get something back somewhere in the future. This can be from the person or charity to whom they donated or someone else entirely. Researchers say this is because donating items and time builds bbonds and grows trust between us and others around us. This strengthens our connection to the community in which we live and its to us making us more likely to benefit from others\’ random acts of kindess and generosity.
  • We inspire others to donate their time and items. Giving to charity is contagious. When people see us doing it, they are inspired to do the same thing. Research done at the Unioversity of California at San Diego and Harvard University found that altruisim can have a ripple effect that lasts for three generations meaning when you do something good for other people, not only do people who see you doing it become inspired but that desire to help other continues for people who see them. Every person who chooses to give their time can influence the behavior of dozens or hundreds of people.
  • Giving helps encourage feelings of gratitude. Giving makes both the gift giver and recipient feel gratitude. Increased gratitude has been linked to happier people over all; it is crucial to happiness, building social bonds and making you healthier. Merely expressing gratitude can increase your bond wth the person to whom you are expressing it. When you make American Red Cross clothing donations, for instance, you will be thanked by the person who accepts the donation and that will make you feel better. You may meet the people who are directly impacted by your generosity and they will thank you.

Giving back to the community is a great way to help people who need it but it is also a great way to make yourself healthier and happier. While many of us cannot afford to donate cash, most of us can afford to make used clothing donations. By making American Red Cross clothing donations, you can do a lot of good for other people while making yourself healthier and happier and build stronger connections with people in your community. When you donate your time, you can really see how your work and efforts help improve the lives of the people around you. Give it a try! Everyone can use a little more happiness and health in their lives.