Here's the science of giving gifts.
As stressful as it is to wait in line at Macy's (AKA the zoo) during the holiday season, you really can't deny the joy you feel when you feel like you've bought the perfect gift for someone you love. It's a rush of endorphins so great that research even compares the feeling to a runner's high. Your brain's pleasure and reward center act as though you were the one receiving a gift.
And, if that wasn't enough to keep you giving all year long, just wait until you see this eye-opening infographic from Happify, an app that helps you lead a happier life through scientifically-designed activities and games. You'll quickly see how being generous is not just good for you—it's amazing for your relationships, too.
Here are 5 things you didn't know about generosity and relationships.
1. It's The Key To A Successful Marriage
Giving gifts aren't just important when you're dating—they matter later on down the road, too. In fact, generosity just may be the secret to divorce-proofing your marriage. The National Marriage Project found it to be a key factor in healthy marriages in 2011.
2. The Right Gift Means The Right Relationship
You know how happy you feel when you receive a gift that shows your partner just "gets" you. Well, science is here to back us up on this one. A study found that men in long-term relationships were more likely to say their relationship would continue after their girlfriend got them a desirable gift.
3. Spending On The Ones We Love Gives Us More Happiness
We get a bigger boost of happiness when we give to the people closest to us.
4. It Makes Kids More Supportive
No, we're not suggesting you spoil your kids, but research shows that the more you spend on your kid today the more supportive they will be as they grow.
5. It Keeps You Around Longer
Want to stick around for a little longer? Keep on giving, says science. Research shows that those who provided to family, friends and spouses had a lower risk of dying over a five month period than those who didn't.
See the Happify infographic below for even more ways giving improves your life.