MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This is the most charitable time of the year, and the Minnesotans are known for their generosity. This made us wonder about the old adage: “Better to give than to receive.” “
As nice as it may sound to get what you want, it may be best to give others what they need.
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Vivian Treadwell, who gives free meals every day on the east side of St. Paul, also knows this feeling of giving.
“A lot of people put a lot of emphasis on shopping, shopping everywhere. But for me, the real meaning of Christmas is to help those in need, ”said Treadwell.
And in northeast Minneapolis, Carolyn Deters is a professional donor. After taking care of her grandmother, she turned her career into a full-time donor at Gifts for Seniors.
“Last year, we served approximately 6,717 seniors in the Twin Cities metro and surrounding areas,” said Deters. “It is deeply gratifying for me personally. “
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It turns out that this feeling isn’t just emotional, it’s also physical. Dr David Ludden, professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, wrote an article on the same subject in “Psychology Today”.
“There’s a chemical in the brain called dopamine, it’s a pleasure chemical in the brain, and we actually get some kind of dopamine release every time we freely donate,” Ludden said. “In most cases, yes, yes, it is better to give than to receive.”
He says giving actually lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases the feel-good hormone dopamine.
“In other words, giving, giving for free to another person is actually a way to reduce stress,” he said.i “In order to survive as a group we have to be prepared to give to other people. And so, what Mother Nature came up with is that it actually gives us a little boost of pleasure every time we give something to other people. I think that’s what the saying “it’s better to give than to receive” actually means, is that every time you give, you actually get something in return. “
Dr Ludden says there are a few cases where giving doesn’t feel good: if you have to give, or if you feel like the gift is not appreciated.
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Overall, he says giving is a natural effect and that buying a gift for others is more enjoyable than buying something for yourself.