4 Ways to Grow Your Generosity

Giving can lead to greater health and happiness. Here are four ideas to contribute your time, money, and talents.

Being motivated by the needs of others — rather than the personal benefits of being charitable — is a key factor in enjoying the many perks of generosity. In other words, you can’t fake it and still reap its rewards.

You can, however, more genuinely contribute your time, money, and talents. “Generous impulses can be learned, and it’s exhilarating when you just get out there and try it,” says Notre Dame sociologist Hilary Davidson, PhD, coauthor of The Paradox of Generosity. To get started, she suggests taking stock of your resources — looking at time as much as money — and finding small ways these resources might be used for the good of others. Consider these ideas:

1. Start small

Make an extra pan of lasagna for a sick friend, buy a cup of coffee for the next person in line, share your pocket change, or just give someone a hug or pat on the back. (Touch is a powerful, direct way to give; it releases oxytocin, which promotes trust, cooperation, and sharing.)

2. Join a team

Paint the sets for a school play, coach a Little League team, get involved in a community improvement organization, work a phone bank, or team up with others to clean up a beach or local park.

3. Support a cause

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, run a 5K to fight cancer, walk dogs at a local shelter, attend (or chair!) a fundraiser for your child’s school, collect groceries for a local food bank, or make an annual pledge to a charity close to your heart.

4. Spread the love

Trumpet the arrival of a friend’s book or gallery show, be understanding with a cranky spouse, give a coworker credit for a good idea, organize a party for a friend, or drum up support for a local event.

This originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Experience Life. For the full article, see “The Gifts of Generosity.”

Written by Melanie Haiken. This post originally appeared on Experience Life.

Image Credit: Evan Kirby via Unsplash

83 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T2 years ago

tyfs

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Melania P
Melania P2 years ago

So agree; what is life if you don't help others?? That is my motto, no matter if you help a human or an animal, just do something!

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Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D2 years ago

Great article and also very true. If you put good out into the universe then good will find it's way back to you.

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Leong S
Leong S2 years ago

Thank you for posting

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Chen B
Chen Boon Fook2 years ago

thanks you

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LF F
LF F2 years ago

Try simply helping others because you 'can'. You are able. Because someone needs your help. You are God's instrument. Play your tune.

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