Give Back

When we talk about mental health and wellbeing, a lot of focus is on what we can do for ourselves to improve our own mental wellbeing. However, giving back to others is part of the process and improves not only our mental wellbeing but also the wellbeing of others.

What is "Giving Back?"

Giving is simply the act of offering something to someone else - a stranger, friend, family member, charitable organization, or the wider community. And while “giving” can include material things, like money and gifts, it often means giving others our time, kindness, skills or knowledge, enthusiasm, or support. Keep in mind that giving is a two way process where our acceptance of what someone else gives to us is as good for them as it is for us. Therefore it’s important to learn to graciously accept and show gratitude to those who give to us, while also learning to give to others.

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Benefits of Giving

Feeling part of something and connected to others and the world around us is important for our sense of wellbeing. By giving, we benefit from engaging with others on a meaningful level. We don’t only make them feel closer to us but we also feel closer to them which helps to strengthen our relationships or build new ones. Giving helps us:

  • intrinsically experience good feelings,

  • develop a sense of trust and cooperation in our relationships,

  • achieve a sense of purpose,

  • experience feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life,

  • take our thoughts away from our own concerns to see the ‘bigger picture’,

  • cultivate gratitude in everyday life, and

  • increase our own positivity about the world and those around us.

 

Additionally, giving is contagious. People who are given to are more likely to act kindly and give to others. This reciprocal giving can promote happiness and improved wellbeing throughout the community.

How to Give
 

If doesn’t matter who we are or what we do, we can all make giving part of our daily lives. Often, it’s the little things that can make all the difference to our mental health and wellbeing and that of others and our community. For ideas on how to give, take a look at the simple suggestions and local opportunities.

Simple Suggestions
 
  • Remember to say 'please' and 'thank you.'

  • Provide company or support to a friend or family member in need.

  • Ask a colleague how they are and truly listen to their answer.

  • Donate unused household items or clothing to a charity.

  • Make more time for the people that you care about.

  • Help pick up litter in places you go to often.

  • Do something nice for a family member or friend.

  • If you see a stranger struggling, offer to hold open a door or help them with bags.

  • Smile!

  • Give a compliment to acknowledge what others have done well.

  • Offer to help a neighbour with their to-do list.

  • Organize and promote random acts of kindness days at school, work, or when you’re out with a group.

  • Look at what you're good at doing and what you enjoy and offer to share those skills to help others.

  • Give yourself the gift of connecting, being active, learning, or being mindful.