Gift Giving Is Great For Your Health & Happiness
Author: Nikki Barnett Date Posted:11 March 2020
Why Gift Giving Makes Us Feel Good
Giving a gift, getting a gift, something we all like don't we? Plus it is so easy in today's world with everything from Australian gift hampers to rare white elephants available to buy. This blog post is going to take a look at why giving and receiving gifts is good for you, along the way we will check out some of the unique gift ideas that the rich and famous spend their loot on!
"A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver." - Thomas à Kempis
To start, do you like Burgers? Would you like to receive a gift of ten Burger King (or Hungry Jacks) restaurants as part of your wedding present? Exactly what Kayne West bought Kim Kardashian for their nuptials. Maybe, the lady likes her burgers!
It appears the rich and famous like to go to town when spending on a loved one and it's's not only today's elite that like to buy BIG pressies, take a look at some of these,
- The Taj Mahal - yes, that magnificent building in India was a gift from Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. It was a mausoleum to house his favourite wife's ashes.
- One of the 7 Wonders of the World, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was a gift from a doting husband the Emperor Nebuchadnezzar II to his wife Queen Amytris as she was missing the green hills of her home.
- One great queen gifted the Roman Emperor a magnificent carpet, rolled inside was an extra gift, the queen Cleopatra herself!
- The famous and expensive Faberge Eggs were designed to be gifts for the wives of the Russian Czars in the 19th & 20th centuries.
- A famed 69-carat diamond was the gift of love from Richard Burton to his wife, Elizabeth Taylor.
- Angelina Jolie has been known to be very expressive with her gifts to her then-husband Brad Pitt from a helicopter and lessons to a heart-shaped island complete with a Frank Loyd Wright-designed house.
- Katy Perry reached for the stars with her present to then-husband Russell Brand, with a ticket to go into space.
- How about a statue? Yes, the Statue of Liberty in the USA was a gift from France in 1886.
- Pope Leo x received the gift of a rare white elephant from the devout King of Portugal in 1514.
- How about spending $8 million on a bit of bling? David Beckham did so when he bought Victoria a Bvlgari necklace for her birthday.
- Another island gift was from Cristiano Ranaldi to his agent Jorge Mendes.
"For it is in giving that we receive." - St. Francis of Assis
Plenty of unique gift ideas in that lot, but maybe a bit out of most of our price ranges. Why is giving a gift so important to us? We spend time, lots of it debating what to buy, how to wrap it, how to give it. We also spend lots of money, more than we should sometimes. Then we turn over in our mind is it the right gift, what message does it send about me, and most important of all - will they like it?
The theory behind gift-giving can get somewhat complicated, do we give to receive appreciation? Or, is it to show appreciation, gratitude, respect, love? Is gift-giving about social influence, in that a gift can trigger a feeling of reciprocity, where the recipient of a gift feels obliged to make a return gift? Maybe it's, all of them? Depends on who the giver and who is the recipient - perhaps it is in our DNA?
As a race, humans are a socially inclined, community-orientated species. We live, sleep and eat together, fundamentally we care for one and other. We are generous with each other sharing food, thoughts, knowledge - gifting these to others. Darwin identified this generosity or willingness to share and care as the reason we have not gone extinct, which if we had been inherently selfish, he anticipated we would not have survived.
Pleasure From Giving
It appears our brains are wired to be happy when we gift someone. Scientists say there is quantitive evidence that there is a more significant rise in endorphins when we spend money on others than when we spend on ourselves. ( There goes my retail therapy cheer up days!) Seeing the pleasure of the recipient gives the gift -giver a psychological lift, increasing the endorphin release in the brain, you know the feeling you get when you are falling in love or after a great workout!
Gifts Help Relationships
Most people have experienced the pleasure an unexpected gift can bring, the thoughtfulness behind the gift is as appreciated as much, if not more, than the gift itself. A gift can strengthen and develop a relationship be that between lovers, parents, friends or even business colleagues. Giving a gift is the start of building a future; gifts are a sign of how much you value the other person and want to be part of their future.
How a gift is received is also important, having spent time, money, effort and some of yourself into selecting a gift, it can be very distressing for it not to be received with pleasure.
There is a right way to receive a gift, and it is well worth cultivating the etiquette for doing so, especially if you want to maintain a relationship with the giver. Goes without saying we are talking here about appropriate gifts.
Say Thank You - the only feeling you should express is gratitude.
Do not show disappointment - even if you are. Why hurt someone who has tried to gift you something they think you will like. Respect the giver.
Look them in the eye. Then smile when you receive your gift. Non-verbal signals say a lot, don't let any negative feelings show.
Alexander McCall Smith said "Gracious acceptance is an art — an art which most never bothers to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you."
Gifts are many things; they can be a fun souvenir, a delicious treat, like our Australian gift hampers. They can also be a gift of charity, supporting one of the many worldwide and local charities in their endless work in education, poverty, health, refugees, water and environmental concerns. Be assured these gifts are truly appreciated, even if the recipients don't know your name.