Giving and Receiving

Does pure altruism exist?

At this holiday season, there is much said about giving to others. But can you give unto others without giving to yourself? Does true altruism exist?

There is the old adage that when we give we receive. What does that really mean? Brain research reveals there is a measurable increase in the oxytocin a hormone that brings a sense of contentment and joy of people who have just performed an altruistic act.

A study was conducted in which individuals were given $100. They had to donate at least $50 to charities and could either keep or donate the remainder. After the donations were tallied, the amount of oxytocin measured in those that had donated higher amounts was notably increased. In a self-report survey it was noted that those who gave more reported feeling better about themselves.

I have been conducting my own experiment to increase my oxytocin. When I have received good service at a restaurant, I tip the server at a higher level than I would have previously. I feel better as I leave the restaurant.

As I do my holiday shopping locally in small stores. I notice how much better I feel after purchasing something in my community vs. a big box store.

What ways can you find to increase your giving and enjoy the measurable increase in oxytocin that that brings?

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday.


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