Mutual Benefits Seen in Both Giving, Receiving Gifts

Updated: 12/25/2013 6:54 PM By: Megan Stewart

We all know the common saying, "it's better to give than to receive."

But it's possible both acts have their benefits.

"Acts of giving are a win-win situation for everybody," according to Dr. Scott Bea, a psychologist out of Cleveland. "We know they produce good feelings in the gift receiver and actually create feelings of connectedness. They also create wonderful feelings in the gift-giver."

Dr. Bea says when people give a gift, or get a gift, good chemical changes happen in the body. Serotonin and dopamine, both commonly referred to as "feel good" chemicals, are released in the brain.

This sensation is not limited to gifts that are purchased, Dr. Bea said.

"It does not have to be monetary. It can be time, energy, attention, volunteerism."

However, Dr. Bea said the good feelings we get seem to last longer if we're the gift-giver, as opposed to the one who receives the gift.

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