4 Ways to Strengthen Your Sense of Life Purpose Through Your Practice

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Sense of Life Purpose Through Your Practice

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” —Buddha

Some people grow up just knowing that they were born to teach children, or to travel the world, or to be a mother, or to study climate change. Most people, however, struggle to define their purpose well into their adult years—even if they seem to have great careers, great relationships, and great lives overall.

It’s easy to let life’s numerous distractions and endless responsibilities take your time and energy away from you when your heart is longing to fulfill something more meaningful. But through yoga, you can harness your internal awareness so that youcan learn more about yourself and your deepest desires.

Bless the Day With Purpose

You don’t necessarily need to have already found your true purpose to start living a life of purpose. As soon as you wake up or step on your mat at the beginning of your morning practice, simply remind yourself that each and every day is a blessing, and that you value living a life of purpose, humility, service, and grace. This will help keep you focused on the tasks you want to accomplish and the type of energy you want to bring to your day rather than being swept away by distraction.

Realign Yourself With Your Intentions

Setting an intention at the beginning of each practice can bring you closer to your purpose. Doing this is as simple as being still and silent, focusing on your breath, and allowing your intention to be brought to your awareness through the emotions and sensations in your body. You can affirm this intention to yourself by saying it silently or out loud. Make sure you also understand the difference between setting intentions and setting goals.

Meditate on Your Dharma

You can’t discover your purpose by focusing entirely on the outside world. Instead, you have to look inward, and nothing accomplishes this better than by meditating. In ancient teachings, your dharma is your divine duty—an inner type of wisdom or guidance from the cosmos that not only comes from within you, but from the universe. In meditation, you can explore and consider whether you are being true to your highest self and release anything that may be pulling you away.

Pause to Notice Feelings

If you’re constantly on the go in your everyday life, you may be unknowingly doing the same in your practice. By cultivating pause while you're on your mat, you get more time to simply be. And by getting more time to simply be, you gain new insights about yourself. The more insights you discover about yourself, the more freedom you have to choose between living a life of higher purpose and love, or a life stuck in a much lower state consciousness. Pausing may be difficult and even unpleasant for the mind to endure, but it will strengthen your awareness muscle, which is exactly what you want to do if you want to find your true purpose so you can start living it.

Image (edited) via Pierce Martin


7 Surprising Products Made from Sustainable Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on Earth. Also touted as one of the greatest renewable resources available, bamboo can grow at a rate of up to three feet per day without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.

This iconic, woody grass used can make a great decorative houseplant in commercial spaces and homes, but most of us aren’t aware just how versatile it really is. In fact, you might be surprised to find out that bamboo can actually be used to make hundreds of different products.

Here are just seven different types of products you didn’t know could be made out of bamboo.

Clothing

You can get everything from shirts and sweaters to pants and dresses made from bamboo. These clothing items look and feel just like other high-quality items made from less sustainable materials, offering a noticeably soft and comfortable fit. Bamboo clothing also requires no special treatment—designed to last long and be easy to care for, just like regular clothing.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is one paper product that most of us can’t really give up. If we all switched to using toilet paper made from bamboo, we would all make a hugely positive impact on deforestation while reducing paper consumption overall. Bamboo toilet paper is also a strong, soft, cool, naturally antibacterial alternative that biodegrades at a faster rate than competing paper materials.

Toothbrushes

Something between 850 million and one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown out every year in the United States alone, remaining in our environment indefinitely due to their non-biodegradable materials. Toothbrushes made out of bamboo not only work just as well as any other dental-grade brush, but also allow you to rest easy knowing it will biodegrade fast and easily once it’s time to toss out.

Sports Equipment

Bamboo is a surprisingly strong and durable material that can be used to make a variety of sporting goods (and make them look pretty cool, too). Look for bicycles, skateboards, surfboards, snowboards, inline skates, ski poles, baseball bats, fishing rods, golf tees, polo balls, and helmets made from bamboo.

Electronics & Accessories

It isn’t any fun to think about all the electronic waste we now produce in the midst of the information age where everyone is connected and old technology is fast replaced with something new and updated. Electronic devices and accessories made with bamboo can help keep harmful electronic waste out of our landfills. Smartphone cases, computer mice, keyboards, headphones, speakers, and even laptops made of bamboo are not only better for the planet, but look pretty snazzy too.

Beer & Wine

Bamboo is an edible plant that is used in some alcoholic beverages. Bambusa beer is one such example. The extract from the plant is obtained, distilled, and applied in the part of the beer fermentation with two hops, yeast, and wheat malt. The result is an Ale beer that has a refreshingly spicy yet fruity taste.

Yoga Mats

Last but not least, we couldn’t forget mentioning one item that us yogis use so regularly—our mats! There are all sorts of high-quality yoga mat manufacturers out there that offer PVC-free, environmentally friendly mats made from sustainable materials like bamboo as well as natural rubber, jute, hemp, and cotton.


4 Ways to Tailor Your Yoga Practice to Improve the Look of Your Skin

4 Ways to Tailor Your Yoga Practice to Improve the Look of Your Skin

Yoga can certainly offer a range of physical benefits to anyone who commits to a regular practice—from toned muscles, to greater flexibility. But did you know that yoga can actually help improve the look of your skin too?

While researchers say there’s still much to investigate regarding yoga’s impact on the skin, there’s at least some scientific evidence that the antioxidant molecular and cellular benefits might lend a hand to slowing and perhaps even reversing the aging process of skin cells.

Here are just five different ways you can tailor your practice to give your skin a healthy, youthful looking glow.

1. Practice Asanas That Promote Good Blood Circulation Around the Head

If you’ve been hesitant to practice some of the more intimidating inversions like headstand or handstand, now’s your chance! All inversions (headstand, handstand, shoulderstand, and even downward facing dog) are understandably great for improving blood flow and circulation to the head as well as all around the face.

Of course, if inversions aren’t your thing, forward bend poses will also do the trick. These include downward facing dog, child’s pose, puppy pose, standing forward bend, seated forward bend, standing split, wide-angle seated forward bend, and bound angle pose.

2. Practice Heart Opening Asanas to Purify and Improve Oxygen Flow

By opening up the heart you’re essentially making more space around the chest area, expanding the lungs and encouraging more oxygen to flow throughout the body via the bloodstream. This can aid in delivering essential nutrients to the skin’s surface.

Try poses like camel pose, triangle pose, sphinx pose, cobra pose, upward facing dog, fish pose, bow pose, wheel/upward bow pose and other heart opening favorites of yours.

3. Practice Asanas and Pranayama That Help With Digestion

When your digestive system is running smoothy, your whole body benefits—including your skin. Twisting poses like revolved triangle pose, Bharadvaja’s twist, half lord of the fishes pose, and Marichi’s pose are ideal for helping the body detoxify and move things along.

In addition to twisting poses, the way you breathe can help stimulate and bring balance back to the digestive system. As a suggestion, you may want to try alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) to help remove toxins and lower stress while supporting the respiratory functions.

4. Try Face Yoga to Relax and Tone the Facial Muscles

Yes, you can do yoga for your face! While there are mixed opinions about face yoga, it might not hurt to try it out yourself. There are over 190 muscles from your neck up that often aren’t used, and just like not using muscles in other areas of the body, some argue that lack of use can cause the area (in this case, the face) to appear out of shape.

Finding out how to perform face yoga exercises is as simple as doing a quick search for “face yoga” on YouTube. Some popular exercises include puffing up your cheeks with as much air as possible, stretching your tongue out as far as you can, tilting your head to look up as you pucker your lips, and even making a classic fish face by sucking your cheeks in.


Fair Trade Products to Look For (And Why You Should)

Fair Trade Products to Look For (And Why You Should)

If you’re the type of conscious consumer who’s made a good habit out of reading the labels on food products, then you’re well ahead of those who go for the cheapest and/or tastiest things they can find.

Whether you have certain nutritional standards for yourself or aim to purchase locally sourced food products, your efforts to pay attention to labels can be a big help to not only help yourself, but others as well. Deciding to purchase Fair Trade products, however, is one other big way you can help make one of the biggest differences in the lives of others.

What Fair Trade Means

Fair Trade products are high in quality and produced in a way that benefits both people and the planet. Farmers and workers that are involved in the production processes of Fair Trade products get a fair deal on pricing and credit, the funds are invested in community development, and the products themselves are not produced in a way threatens the environment.

Fair Trade USA is the leading third-party certifying organization in the United States, only certifying products that comply to rigorous social, environmental, and economic standards from products. The organization works with over 800 U.S. companies to audit and certify products according to international Fair Trade standards.

Why Yogis Should Choose Fair Trade Products

Yogis are some of the most conscious consumers out there. Many of us don't consume just for the sake of consumption, and though we love to know that the products we buy benefit ourselves, it’s a huge bonus to know that the products we buy are good for everyone else too.

When we buy Fair Trade products, we can enjoy what they have to offer while knowing that the communities that helped produce and deliver them can use the funds to improve the quality of life there. These funds may go toward building schools, providing market-based tools to farmers, enabling safe working conditions, guaranteeing health care and rights for women, enabling the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices, and so much more.

How to Find Fair Trade Products

Fair Trade products come with the Fair Trade Certified label on their packaging so that they’re easy to identify. All you need to do is look for that label to confirm that the product is Fair Trade Certified.

Now, you might be wondering if Fair Trade products are more costly than their conventional counterparts. This actually depends on the product.

For example, the prices of Fair Trade coffee and chocolate generally cost the same as competing varieties—with the exception of those that are much lower in quality and are mass produced. Fair Trade bananas, however, are often pricier than conventional bananas for the simple fact that their producers aren’t equipped with the same large-scale shipping and logistical conveniences that many other companies have to efficiently transport their products to market destinations around the world.

Fair Trade Products to Look For

According to Fair Trade USA, the following products are Fair Trade Certified in the U.S.:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Sugar
  • Beans
  • Grains
  • Flowers
  • Nuts
  • Oils
  • Butters
  • Honey
  • Spices
  • Wine
  • Spirits
  • Body Care

At Yogi Surprise, we make a huge effort to include Fair Trade Certified products in our boxes. Just by being a member, you’re helping to support developing communities and their environments.


5 Simple Ways to Neutralize Bad Energy in Your Home or Yoga Space

5 Simple Ways to Neutralize Bad Energy in Your Home or Yoga Space

Your home should feel like a safe and welcoming place where you have the freedom to live exactly the way that you want. Unfortunately, negative energy left over from past situations and events—such as an argument with a loved one, a stressful period of working a deadline, physical items that have piled up, or the dwelling of previous home owners/tenants—can take their toll on your mental, emotional, and even physical well being.

Ridding a single area of a room or every space in your home of negativity isn't a complicated process, and there are many simple things you can do to achieve a fresher, cleaner, and more positive energetic vibration. You’ll be surprised to find just how much better you feel once you’ve done it.

1. Remove clutter

Physical clutter should be the first thing to go. You might not realize it, but these are things that hold onto energy and contaminate your space with it, affecting you and your family/housemates. Just knowing that those items are there, taking up space in your home, can be enough to subconsciously throw you out of the loop. Anything that doesn’t serve some sort of intention for the space or that you associate with negativity should be removed or at the very least, stored away completely out of sight.

2. Open the windows

Old, stale air that has no place to go will keep negativity swirling around in your space and perhaps affecting everything you try to do. An easy solution? Crack a window! You can even maximize the clearing of that stale air and bad energy by opening as many windows (and even doors) as you can to create a cross breeze. Do this on a particularly fresh and breezy day in early spring or fall and you’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it’ll make.

3. Decorate your space with crystals

If you made some extra room by decluttering your home or space, you can take advantage of that by placing some healing crystals where those old items used to be. Black tourmaline is well known for repelling negative energy and is ideal for placing anywhere in the home. If you’re looking for more of a transformative crystal, try black onyx, which not only sucks up bad energy but also supports and strengthens good energy from people or things placed nearby it.

4. Burn some incense

The smoke from incense can be a great tool for clearing negative energy and cleansing any space. Make sure that if you're burning incense for the purpose of cleansing a space that you use purely natural types as opposed to “fake” types that merely produce a scent. Sandalwood, juniper, cedar, rosemary, and resins are just some of the best natural choices for effectively eliminating negative energy. Allow one to burn entirely in a room and repeat this every month or so to help keep the energy clear and cleansed.

5. Try a smudging ritual

Finally, if you’re up for something a little more intricate and powerful for ridding negative energy from your space, you could try performing a smudging ritual. Similar to just simply allowing an incense stick to burn completely in one room, smudging is an ancient ceremony that involves burning sacred plants and allowing the smoke to cleanse and restore balance to a space. A typical smudging ritual would involve taking a smudge stick, lighting it, and gently waving it around a space while saying an optional prayer. Here are the exact steps you can take if you’d like to perform a smudging ritual of your own.


5 Ways to Donate or Repurpose Your Old Yoga Items

5 Ways to Donate or Repurpose Your Old Yoga Items

As you progress along your yoga journey, certain items designed to help you in your practice will eventually need to be replaced. Everything from your yoga mat to the clothes you wear will begin to break down or wear out over time, leaving you with old items that no longer have any use to you.

Before you throw your old and used yoga items in the trash, consider giving some thought to how they might still be of use to somebody else. If you do a little digging around, you’ll find lots of programs that accept used yoga items so they can be donated to great causes.

Here are just a few programs worth looking at.

Donating Yoga Foster

Yoga Foster is a nonprofit organization that encourages school teachers to empower their students through yoga and mindfulness practices in the classroom. Their mat drive allows yogis to donate their clean and gently-used mats to students in their community by taking them to the closest participating Lululemon store. Once the mats are no longer of use to students in their programs, Yogi Foster donates every heavily-used mat to be repurposed in animal shelters and gardening projects.

Donating to Project Yogi

Project Yogi is another nonprofit that seeks to teach young people to stay fit and active while educating them with their unique curriculum focused on managing modern day problems like stress, anxiety, and depression with ancient scientific yogic philosophies. They partner up with organization and charities to serve at-risk and disadvantaged kids and families, donating yoga mats to those who want to continue their practice once a class has ended. You can contact Project Yogi directly to find out how to donate your mat.

Donating to Yoga Activist

Yoga Activist is focused on building connections between yoga instructors, social service providers, government agencies, and local communities with little or no access to yoga—such as the homeless, trauma survivors, at-risk youth, prison populations, and people dealing with addition, mental illness or physical disabilities. You can fill out their mat donor form for any gently-used mat or prop you want to donate, and Yogi Activist will coordinate your donation with their supported outreach programs.

Donating Your Local Yoga Studio

Even if you don’t attend classes at a local studio, chances are you'd be able to drop off your yoga items there. Since many studios (and even gyms that offer yoga classes) need to have enough equipment to serve a full class of yogis who may not have their own mat, strap, blocks, or other gear, they might be happy to take your old items off your hands. Try doing a Google search for a studio or gym in your area and call or email them to see if they’ll take whatever you’d like to donate.

Repurposing Those Heavily-Used Yoga Items

So what if your old mat and other yoga gear are just so worn out that they aren’t in appropriate shape to be donated? With a little creativity, you can repurpose those old items for something completely new.

It’s easy enough to cut up your old mat and use pieces of it for drawer liners, pet placemats, coasters, door mats, and more. Worn out yoga clothes can also be cut up and repurposed as dish rags or wash cloths.

What about those old yoga blocks that have lost their shape/stiffness? Cut those up too and repurpose them as stamps or stencils for craft making. Kids will absolutely love this idea!

Image (edited) via Celeste Lindell


5 Simple Ways to Support Great Causes That Matter Most to You

5 Simple Ways to Support Great Causes That Matter Most to You

You don’t necessarily need to donate your own money or time to important causes to show your support for them. Believe it or not, there are many smaller solutions you can take advantage of to support them while also helping yourself out at the same time.

1. Donate one old item for every new item you acquire.

Here’s a great rule of thumb to follow every time you make a new material purchase or are given a material gift: Get rid of one thing you don’t need anymore.

Take it to the Salvation Army or another organization that accepts used items. You’ll help out people in need, keep unnecessary trash out of landfills, and reduce the amount of clutter in your own home.

2. Buy products from charitable organizations.

There are all sorts of organizations, big and small, that donate a portion of their revenues or products to relevant causes. All you have to do is find them and purchase their products (or services).

To save you both the time and energy of finding individual charitable organizations yourself, try using GoodSearch. GoodSearch is a search engine that has coupons and offers at thousands of popular stores. When you shop through GoodSearch, a percentage of your purchases is donated to a cause of your choice.

3. Spread awareness on social media.

One of the best ways you can take advantage of your social networks is by sharing information about important causes you think they should know about. Doing something as simple as sharing a news article, a petition, or a GoFundMe page on Facebook or Twitter (or other social network) could have more of an impact than you might think.

Think back to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 and how wildly successful that was thanks to social media. Even if what you share inspires just one friend or follower to re-share it on their own social profiles, you’ve helped make a small difference!

4. Save your spare change.

Spare change adds up over time. If you threw all your spare change into a jar over the course of a year, you’d likely have a good amount saved up that you could donate to a cause at Christmas, for your New Year’s resolution, or anytime of year that you want.

Keep a jar or a piggy bank where you store your wallet or purse at home and empty out all the unnecessary spare change into it every time you come home and set your wallet/purse down. Create a reminder on your phone to roll that change up and donate it to a good cause at some point in the future!

5. Raise money for causes while you exercise.

Walking, running, or cycling in support of different causes is great, but those types of fundraisers are often big campaigns that require team fundraising and a bigger time commitment. Those types of events also typically roll around just once a year, making it somewhat inconvenient and inaccessible for people who want a simpler way to support great causes by getting active.

Instead, try using the Charity Miles mobile app. It’s a free app available on both iOS and Android devices that allows you to choose a charity and then earn money for it whenever you decide to go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Just choose your type of activity, hit start, and you’ll start earning!

Which idea from the list above are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments below!


5 Ways to Cultivate Inner Peace Through Your Yoga Practice

Yoga is far more than just physical movement. Although it provides some of the benefits of exercise, the primary purpose of your practice is to put you in touch with your true nature—your very existence of being.

When you are simply being, you are at peace, no matter what your current circumstances may be in that very moment. Being is very different than doing, because doing something typically involves engaging the mind, and the mind is what takes you away from that peaceful state of being.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with doing. After all, you’re wired to solve problems and achieve goals—and doing is what helps you grow.

Being, however, reconnects you to your spiritual nature. You need both doing and being to serve your personal growth.

To cultivate more inner peace, however, being must be prioritized over doing. Here are some of the things you can incorporate into your practice to promote a greater sense of peaceful being.

1. Tweak Your Yoga Environment

Your environment sets the foundation for your practice. If there’s bad energy lingering in your space when you're trying to do your thing on the mat, you’re likely to be affected by it.

Try taking your practice to a new environment if you're trying to practice in a space where you regularly work, wrangle the kids, watch TV, or do anything else that takes a lot of mental and emotional energy. If you can’t, do your best to keep your environment clutter-free and fresh by clearing out unnecessary items and/or diffusing your favorite essential oils.

2. Start Your Practice With Meditation

There’s no right or wrong way to start your practice, but a brief meditation at the very beginning can help clear your mind and get you in the zone before you start moving around on your mat.

Take a seat on your mat, close your eyes, and practice tuning into your breath and the sensations in your body. You can optionally use mudras, mantras, om chanting, or specific poses like lotus or half lotus pose to enhance your meditation.

3. Incorporate Pranayama Into Your Practice

Pranayama is the practice of extending and controlling the breath. In yoga, it’s believed that a person’s breath carries their life force.

Ujayi is an ancient breathing technique commonly used today in yoga (especially in hatha yoga). It involves breathing with the lips sealed by taking slightly deeper than normal inhalations in through the nose and exhaling slowly through the nose while tightening the muscles in the back of the throat.

4. Tailor Your Practice to Your Needs

You may think you need a vigorous vinyasa flow when in fact what your mind and body really need is a slower paced flow with longer holds, or perhaps even a restorative yoga session.

Before you get on your mat, pay attention to the messages your body is telling you, and shift your practice accordingly. You can use your meditation in the beginning to do this—even if it means making a few little tweaks (going slower, favoring certain poses over others, using props, etc.) as you go.

5. Stay Longer in Resting Poses

Resting poses like child’s pose and downward facing dog aren’t meant to be rushed. Child’s pose is ideal for turning your awareness inward while moving around in downward dog can help you feel all the sensations in your body.

Stay a while long in these poses when you decide to take a rest. When you’re ready to start moving around again, you’ll have a clearer state of mind and better feel for how your body wants to move.

Image (edited) via We Are Social


Win a 4 Night Spa Retreat in Desert Hot Springs, California

The mineral-rich waters of Desert Hot Springs in California provide the tranquil, healing environment that every yogi might crave when looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These waters are fortified with a unique composition of mineral deposits, which run down from the aquifer at Miracle Hill and cool down to a perfect 99-degree temperature for a relaxing and rejuvenating spa experience.

This August, not one, but two of our lucky Yogi Surprise members will win the Indulgence Package for a spa retreat at Two Bunch Palms in the greater Palm Springs area where they’ll be able to escape to nature and enjoy the best hot springs in America. You won’t want to miss out on getting a chance to win this incredibly unique retreat!

Located just two hours from downtown Los Angeles, Two Bunch Palms is the oldest hot mineral springs resort and the first carbon neutral resort in North America—featuring a 3.5-acre solar farm. The resort sits on 77 acres of lush landscape sheltered by ancient palms and giant tamarisk trees.

The waters that come from Miracle Hill have been flowing beneath the surface of the Earth for 600 years, emerging to the surface for the first time ever within the resort pool. Guests get to enjoy the rare and unique therapeutic effects by immersing themselves in one of the three large teak tubs (with adjustable temperatures) or three additional pools that can accommodate up to 12 people at a time.

Rooms are conveniently located around the the spa, Essense restaurant, and beyond the meditation ponds for more privacy. Relaxing, custom-designed healing treatments make the resort stand out from others as an internationally renowned destination for those seeking out treatments from therapists and aestheticians who have the skills and experience to deliver the best in skincare, massage, well-being, and more.

The Indulgence Package at Two Bunch Palms includes the following amenities:

  • 4 nights of room accommodation
  • 3 daily meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the resort’s Essense restaurant (speciality drinks not included)
  • Two 60-minute spa treatments of your choice from a select list of 12 treatments
  • Unlimited access to the Hot Mineral Springs plus an all-day program of classes

Having long been a favorite destination among Hollywood and spa enthusiasts, a retreat at Two Bunch Palms would almost certainly be any yogi’s dream. Learn how to win this retreat by clicking the link below.

Learn How to Win This Retreat >


Causes / Giving Back

Causes / Giving Back

“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.” ~ Buddha

Late summer is a incredibly abundant time of year. Those of us who’ve done our spiritual work throughout winter’s recovery, spring’s rebirth, and early summer’s momentum now get to really experience the fruits of our labor.

By its very nature, abundance is the result of selflessness. Although it may seem selfish to focus on your own spirituality and personal growth throughout the year, it is truly selfless to make an effort at becoming the very best version of yourself.

When you are your best self, everyone else benefits. When you are your best self, you are in the highest position to help others and to touch their lives in meaningful ways.

This August, allow yourself to recognize how you’ve nearly come full circle in this annual cycle of growth. You are in the midst of the season of abundance, and you have the power to accelerate it by recognizing what you have to give back to the people and causes that matter to you the most.

Abundance begets further abundance. Here’s why you should spend these last few weeks of summer giving back.

Giving Back Enhances Happiness

In a Harvard study where researchers examined the mental/emotional effects of money, they found that those who reported spending more of their money on others also reported experiencing greater levels of happiness. Spending money on themselves, however, showed no real impact on happiness.

Giving Back Has Physical Health Benefits

Offering support and assistance to those who need it may actually help to extend your life. Researchers followed the lives of 423 older couples over a five-year period and found that those who reported offering no instrumental or emotional support to others doubled their likelihood of dying over that five-year period compared to those who helped support their partners, friends, relatives and neighbors.

Giving Back Inspires Others to Do the Same

Giving back to others inspires them to pay it forward. In a study, researchers split participants into groups of three and showed them either a nature documentary, a comedy clip, or an uplifting Oprah show segment. Those who watched the Oprah segment experienced emotional elevation and were also more likely to go and help others afterward.

Giving Back Strengthens Your Connection With Others

We’re social creatures, and those of us who feel emotionally isolated tend to experience more negative emotions—including stress, anxiety, and even depression. When researchers conducted three studies on charitable donations, they found that those who spent money on others or donated to charity experienced the greatest feelings of happiness when their act of giving fostered social connection. In other words, giving to a worthy cause via a friend, relative, or other social connection evokes more happiness compared to simply making an anonymous donation.

Giving Back Strengthens Your Sense of Gratitude

Giving comes from practicing gratitude. The more you have to be grateful for, the more inspired you’ll feel to give back, and the more you give back, the more abundance you’ll attract. Abundance—whether it comes in the form of happiness, health, social connection, or something else—is the key to growing more and more grateful every day. The more you give, the more you get, and the more gratitude you’ll naturally experience to keep the cycle going.