Giving and receiving. Give and Take. In versus Out. Energy is exchanged every moment of every day. I’m sure you have heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what about when you make donations to non-profit organizations? How does this affect you physically, especially when you’re tightening your purse strings? How do you decide between giving back and saving for your future?
Helping others initiates a physiological response within your body that increases the “happy” hormones—which results in your self-worth improving. When that increases, so too does your overall outlook; this then improves your ability to make effective decisions in other areas of your life. Improved outlook also positively impacts physical well-being.
There’s an ebb and flow to when you’re more comfortable giving and more comfortable saving. When you’re pulling back and saving, the challenge of balancing this ebb and flow is at its greatest. Moving yourself away from feelings of lack and into the space of giving requires moving beyond your comfort zone. It doesn’t mean you need to continue giving at the same level to gain the same physical, emotional, relational and mental benefits.
A Practical Example
You previously donate $500 annually to your favorite organizations, but this year things are tighter financially. You’ve thus decided to trim the amount you give. For most people, cutting back stems from fear or having a perspective of “lack.” Emotionally you might feel unhappy, leading to lower self-esteem that reinforces the fear or negative thinking. Thinking negatively lowers your energy levels; your physical body begins feeling “heavy,” reinforcing your fears, lower energy levels and even lower self-esteem. Your decision to cut back in your giving now impacts you mentally, emotionally and physically. Further, self-esteem negatively impacts your desire to interact with others: not just friends or co-workers, but also close family members.
Key to Success
The key to keeping a positive outlook related to giving and doing your part during financial crunches is your outlook. Begin to see how you can “match” your original donation with your time, expertise and skill. Volunteering with those same organizations can provide a much needed boost to keep you in the flow. Remember, you can bring as much value personally as writing a check.