by Theresa Conti
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” – Maya Angelou
Research shows that giving increases happiness in both the giver and receiver. For instance, close your eyes and think of a time you felt inspired to give someone a gift. No expectations of anything in return, just giving for the joy of doing so. Notice how you feel. On the flip side, many of us find it easier to give than to receive. If that’s true for you, imagine someone gifting you. Now, take a breath, and silently say ‘thank you.’
Living generously helps us build connection, and is a way to care and feel cared about, which are essential human needs. And, best of all – living generously doesn’t require a large expenditure – in fact, it can cost little to nothing!
Whether you’re living in your hometown, or are an expat living in a new environment, living generously can increase your sense of happiness and lead to new connections.
Here are 12-Ways to Build Connection and Alleviate Loneliness
1. Spend time with people you love and care about. If time is tight, even meeting for coffee, or a short walk, can let people know that you care and create feelings of joy and connection.
2. Call or write to someone who lives at a distance. A brief call to say “I’m thinking of you” can brighten someone’s day.
3. Give gifts of time, love, caring, and support. For instance, consider helping someone with errands! 4. Bake your favorite cake and invite someone over for coffee.
5. Tell those you care about you love them. You may think they know, but hearing it drops the message down to a deeper, more significant, level.
6. Use your creative abilities: Write someone a poem, paint them picture, or gift them with a special photo.
7. Like children? Offer to give someone a free night out and babysit their kids!
8. Good at organizing? Help someone clear out their closets or organize their garage.
9. Know someone who is going out of town? Even taking in the mail or feeding the cat can be a significant blessing!
10. Invite people you’d like to know to your home for an aperitivo. It doesn’t have to cost a lot – you can even make it a pot-luck!
11. Tech-savvy? Offer to help someone who’s struggling with a computer project.
12. Most importantly, let people know you appreciate them. Be specific and tell them why.
Note: Don’t take it personally if someone refuses your offer. Choose someone else, and try again! Happy Giving!
With love, Theresa