This Is Why It Feels So Good to Give Back
I still remember the moment I made the conscious decision to spend the holidays helping others instead of spending it with my family. I was just out of college, and I decided that I wanted my holidays to instead be a time of giving back — a time where I tried my best to help those in need. One Thanksgiving, when the soup kitchen was not accepting any more volunteers, I decided to buy holiday meals at the grocery store and hand them out to people experiencing homelessness. I was blown away by how many amazing people I met while giving out food. Many of those people I helped told me I had made their day, but little did they know, they had made mine as well.
Like many of us, I have always been drawn to helping others. Whether it's by volunteering at soup kitchens, rescuing and rehabilitating countless stray animals, or making monetary donations to causes closest to me, looking for ways to give back gives me a deep sense of purpose.
Giving creates a special feeling; the words "elation" and "fulfillment" come to mind. While giving back is often described as "selfless," we all know that we also experience positive benefits from helping others and working in our communities. And science backs it up. In research done by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley it has been proven that pro-social generosity generates good feelings. Here are a few different reasons why we feel better when we are more giving: