It’s Giving Tuesday, a generosity movement that takes place on the 1St Tuesday after Thanksgiving, encouraging people to give back to their communities and support charitable causes. This movement is so big, that their website (www.givingtuesday.org) shares that “Giving Tuesday activities have been tracked in every country and territory in the world!” This goes to show that generosity is something humans believe in, take part in, and must enjoy doing, because if the globe can come together for one day and agree to do something, that is astonishing. What’s more amazing, the one thing we all seem to be able to agree on and do is: GIVING!
Through generosity, advances in medical sciences, safer habitats, and ways of life have been increased. But generosity can help you too! The National Institute on Health, The Mayo Clinic, Cedars-Sinai, Harvard, and all the leading researchers are proving “giving” produces oxytocin, the “love chemical” in the body, making giving that much more beneficial. The feelings of oxytocin are so powerful, Robert C. Froemke, Ph.D., a neuroscientist who studies oxytocin at New York University concurs, but also takes it further, saying “most current neuroscientific studies of oxytocin indicate that oxytocin doesn’t just always make people happier … it seems to act like a volume dial, turning up and amplifying brain activity related to whatever someone is already experiencing.” Imagine, that generosity could “dial-up” whatever you are already feeling in those moments of kindness… Joy? Love? Pretty cool, huh?
Suppose for a moment, that in addition to the necessary generosity that we offer others, that we offer more of that to ourselves? Welcoming the love chemicals spiking and the dialing up of emotions for contributing to others, but also as you give back to you? Knowing that by doing so, you can sustain a strong and healthy future for you? That sounds like a truly visionary plan of success! Let’s call it “GIVING ToYOUsDay!”
Here are six examples with the acronym “G.I.V.I.N.G.” to inspire your new self-generosity:
Gratitude: Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to give to oneself. Take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate who you are, and where you’ve come from, and even better, write it down! Keeping a daily gratitude journal or list is a great way to give to you!
Introspection: Take time with your inner thoughts and feelings. Go for a walk, journal, meditate, or just be mindful as you purposefully check in with yourself and think about your own needs and desires right now. Getting to know who you are and how you feel is a great gift!
Validation: Recognizing your own strengths, talents, and achievements is invaluable! Practice positive self-talk, and gift yourself the best friend you could ever have by offering positive affirmations, celebrating milestones, and even offering forgiveness. Validating yourself will help you to be more authentic as you gift your self-confidence a well-deserved daily boost!
Invest: Investing in your self-care, wellness, and well-being isn’t just a gift, it’s a necessity! Moving your body helps to end our stress cycles, sleep is where our bodies repair and our brains make our memories, eating well allows us to fuel ourselves to feel well, and participating in activities we need and enjoy is a priceless investment in your greatest asset – YOU! Investing in therapy as a normal part of your self-care, taking fitness classes as just a regular part of the week, and buying foods that nourish you aren’t things you should do once you need them, don’t you always deserve the gift of feeling well?
Nurture: Nurture yourself and your relationships. We need healthy connections that allow us to feel seen, heard, and valued. Gift yourself the patience to nurture your relationships and decide what each one may or may not need for the best success, knowing kindness, health boundaries, self-compassion, and a willingness to learn. Offering a nurturing mindset approach to relationships will help as you gift yourself emotional strength and intelligence as your relationships ebb and flow.
Growth: You deserve to see your life evolve and learn new ways of coping, being resilient, adapting, and enjoying this life. If you find each year you are still struggling just as much as the last, maybe it’s time to look at how you are gifting yourself, so you can grow!
Giving Tuesday is a warm reminder that we need each other and that together we still can change the world. Today, as every single country takes time to give, ask yourself, how am I giving? And how am I receiving? Am I feeling loved? Could I dial up how I am feeling right now? And who wouldn’t want to feel more dialed-up love? In addition to supporting others, don’t forget to support you too, on this Giving To YOUsday!
Director Of The Wellness Center