Fresh autumn winds usher in a new season this time of year – a time to reflect on the harvest and spend time rejoicing in its abundance. If you’ve ever been gifted a spare zucchini or handful of tomatoes from a neighbor whose garden did well that year- you know how lovely the feeling can be to receive a homegrown gift from the heart.  Alternatively, if you’ve ever been the giver, it is a rewarding experience to know you are helping someone else. As children, many of us were taught that “it’s better to give than to receive.” More than just an adage your grandmother taught you– there’s neuroscience behind why giving feels good.  

Both the act of giving and volunteering are beneficial for our minds and bodies. Sometimes referred to as a “helpers high” giving back promotes confidence, sense of purpose, and increases feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. When those neurotransmitters are released, positive emotions are experienced by the giver including happiness, warmth and connection with others. Furthermore, the act of giving allows the giver to focus for a period of time on someone else and assisting their needs, rather than being solely inwardly focused (where anxiety and depressive symptoms tend to lie).

As we approach the holiday season – consider a plan for how you and your family may give back in your community. This could be as simple as walking through your neighborhood and seeing if there is a neighbor in need who could benefit from an extra hand with some work. Local charitable organizations (there are many!) such as animal shelters, food pantries and foster care organizations are just a few of the many options available to give back.

We at Lakeshore Psychology Services continue to be grateful for our community and are thrilled to partner with Family Sharing of Ozaukee County for a fall community food drive from Oct 15- November 25th 2022.

Family Sharing is the county’s longest standing food pantry and serves approximately 640 families per month. Their mission is to alleviate hunger in Ozaukee County with dignity and compassion. They also deliver food to 120 low income seniors monthly. Additionally, Family Sharing has partnered with local schools for food insecure children to discreetly fill their backpacks at the end of the week with food to last through the weekend.

Consider joining us by bringing any non-perishable food items to our office located at 1045 W. Glen Oaks in Mequon from Oct 15th-November 25th 2022. Happy giving!