Bill Gates donated $4.6 billion to charity this August according to news reports – it’s the largest figure he’s donated since 2000, and represents 5% of his current net worth of $90 billion. Closer to home, the likes of Ratan Tata and Azim Premji have also given generously. But altruism isn’t just for the rich. To quote Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Enough research has been conducted into the effects altruism has on the person committing the act of charity. And the results make an excellent case for giving. Also Read: When You Shop For Cuddles, A Child Smiles

Giving Can Lower Stress Levels

Research conducted by social psychologist Liz Dunn and her team at a university in the US, showed that the students gave, the happier they were; whereas the less they gave to others, the more ashamed - and stressed - they felt. This second group of students also had higher levels of cortisol, the hormone that helps manage stress. And there is much medical evidence that high levels of cortisol over a long period of time can hurt your body. The moral of this story? Don’t be Scrooge.

Giving Money Can Buy You Happiness

The belief is always that the more money you earn, the happier you will be. Yet according to research conducted by Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard Business School, while bigger earnings will give some satisfaction, it’s spending on others that gives us ‘greater happiness’. We have, all of us, given generously in the past – whether it is to loved ones, or strangers. This year, has partnered with Cuddles Foundation, the only NGO in India to provide nutritional support to underprivileged children in India suffering from cancer, to help children like Manish and Lavanya (read their stories here) be healthy enough to receive treatment. A part of the amount you spend on shopping on will be donated to the Cuddles Foundation. #CLiQToCare

Giving Makes You More, Er, Giving

Giving makes you want to give more. It’s as simple as that. According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan, published in Psychological Science in 2012, the more you think of the charitable acts you’ve made, the more selfless you are likely to feel, and the more likely you are to want to give. Also Read: How To: Pack Winter Wear for a Family Vacation