Try the conscious decision to practice generosity every day with these six lessons on generosity which will help you learn about yourself, the people around you, and the world.
We often think of generosity as a personality trait: you’re either generous, or you’re not.
The truth is that generosity is a practice. It is something that you can cultivate in your life over time. Like any habit. Even better, practicing generosity offers a wealth of opportunities for learning about yourself, the people around you, and the world.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to practicing generosity that I can recommend. It may take some experimenting to find the strategies and styles that best fit your personality and lifestyle.
But can be told is that practicing generosity can have a large impact on how you view your life and the choices you make every day. The lessons you learn from giving are valuable. They can make life so much better, not only for the individuals you set out to help but also for you!
Generosity Isn’t Just About Money
Most people’s first association with generosity is making monetary donations to a cause. This strategy is certainly an effective one – charitable organizations rely on funds to accomplish many of their goals.
Generosity Makes You Happier and Healthier
There is an entire body of research that explores the relationship between generosity and happiness. Many studies clearly link the two, showing that volunteering can increase self-esteem, increase one’s sense of purpose, and decrease symptoms of depression.
Generosity Is Easier Than You Think
Another common myth about being generous is that it is going to be a difficult process for the giver. It’s easy to imagine situations where you are guilted into donating more money than you can afford, or being forced to give up a prized heirloom to benefit someone else.
Generosity Is a Mindful Process
Mindfulness is all about bringing your full attention to the present moment, and immersing yourself in the experience.
Generosity Builds Meaningful Connections
Nothing brings people together like generosity. It is the simplest way to bond with people who care about the same things you do, even if you start out as strangers. Research has shown that giving improves cooperation and helps people view each other more positively.
Generosity Has Ripple Effects
One of the best lessons that can be learned from generosity is that its effects reach farther than you could ever intend. A Harvard study found that a single person acting in a generous way influences observers to behave generously later. In turn, those who observe the observers are also more likely to be generous.
Generosity as a Way of Life
Making the conscious decision to practice generosity every day can feel daunting at first. But once you begin, the benefits of your choices can make it difficult to stop.
There are some amazing opportunities out there that allow you to give back in important and tangible ways. And you can accomplish these tasks from the comfort of your home. What do you have to lose?
Written by Briallyn Smith
Publication date: February 22, 2017
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