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G is for Giving

Author: null null Published: 17th September 2012 21:06

Volunteers for Oxfam"If you have much give of your wealth, if you have little give of your heart" Arab proverb
According to Wikipedia, Giving may refer to:

• Gift, the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return
• Generosity, the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return
• Charity (practice), the giving of help to those in need who are not related to the giver

In 2008, the New Economics Foundation (nef) published a report called Five Ways to Wellbeing based on their analysis of the latest international research on wellbeing. Their Five Ways were:

Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give


NEF characterise Give as follows:

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

The report presents a wealth of evidence from neuroscience showing that ‘mutual cooperation is associated with enhanced neuronal response in reward areas of the brain.' Learning cooperative behaviours, such as helping, sharing, giving, and working together with others, particularly in early life contributes to improved cognitive and social functioning which in turn develops mental capital and well-being.

In the field of wellbeing research, feelings of happiness and life satisfaction have been strongly associated with active participation in social and community life. Research into actions for promoting happiness has found that carrying out an act of kindness once a week over a six week period is associated with an increased sense of well-being, compared to control groups.

Other research has been carried out to demonstrate the benefits of volunteering for people recovering from mental ill-health. These include building confidence and self-worth and having a sense of purpose and belonging in the community

"Don't say that you want to give, but go ahead and give! You'll never catch up with a mere hope." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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