Why giving is good for your health

Christmas is behind us and Blue Monday is upon us, but at Hugo’s Workshop we’re as happy as can be!  Our secret is knowing how to keep the spirit and happiness that comes with giving to those we love last all year round.

There's a growing body of research which shows that giving a gift (as well as volunteering or donating to charities) has a positive impact on your physical and mental health and can even contribute to a longer life!

Personally, I’ve already reached the age where giving gifts is just as exciting as it was receiving them when I was a kid – how about you? Yep, in a way we are being both selfish and selfless by giving gifts to others.

Most of us recognise that the pleasure of making someone happy is more powerful than we might have previously thought – but have you ever stopped to think about the science behind it?

The Science

A 2008 study by Harvard Business School found that “giving to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves (despite participants’ prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier).”

Why? One reason is that giving evokes gratitude. And gratitude is integral to happiness, health, and social bonds.

The book The How of Happiness states “When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them. Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably.”

Want another reason? Hormones! Yes, your brain is wired to give you a boost of the love hormone Oxytocin when you’re gift giving! This delicious hormone high induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others. Who wouldn’t want more of that in their life.

According to Redballoon.com.au “a good present can maintain and even improve a relationship! A gift that carries meaning between two people can be a non-verbal way for one person to express their feelings and appreciation towards the gift’s recipient.”

Obviously as the founder of the successful personalised gift-making company Hugo’s Workshop I could be considered biased (ha!), but reading all of these studies shows that the old saying ‘it’s the thought that counts’ really is true.


But what about you busy people out there who find the idea of researching and buying a ‘thoughtful’ gift incredibly stressful…  It already feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, right?

Maybe you think that the people in your life are too difficult to shop for or it’s just too much work, it’s too expensive or too much pressure. Let me assure you, it’s not that hard.

A simple thoughtful gift can be priceless – At my Maidenhead workshop I make and personalise a whole range of wooden gifts… I supply everything from engraved chopping boards, to photo frames, medal hangers and even coasters and hammers! Gifts don’t make us happy because they were expensive or grand gestures, they make us happy because they allow us to connect with someone we care about.

gin and tonic board
engraved photo frame gift
engraved hammer gift

You can’t deny there's something warm and fuzzy watching loved ones unwrap a gift that they love. Making them smile is undoubtedly worth far more than money or any material item.

In summary… Money can't buy happiness, unless you spend it on others!

We want to see pics of you and your Hugo's Workshop gifts at home! If you have a gift-giving moment to share, don’t forget to tag me using the hashtag #hugosathome

Rebecca x

Posted on January 20th 2020

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