2 mins

Psychological benefits of giving to others and thinking of others

Do you ever get that warm feeling when you’ve done a good deed? Or when you’ve given someone a gift they really value and cherish?
Research indicates that giving to others is psychologically beneficial to us. Neuroimaging studies have found that the areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure and reward and become activated when we do things like eat or have sex, also become activated when we give to others. So this makes us feel good.

When we give to others or think about others, this also helps us to connect more with other people. Social connection and having meaningful relationships with people is associated with improved mental and physical health. Conversely, difficulties such as depression and. Anxiety are characterised by self-focused preoccupation. Focusing our attention away from ourselves and onto others may help to reduce this.

Thinking of others may also help us to gain a different perspective on our own situation, and as previously said, giving to others may help us to feel better by activating the pleasure and reward systems in our brains. This in itself may help to improve our mental health.

Giving to others makes us more likely to receive:
If giving to others and thinking of others is helpful with our own social connections , then we could assume that giving may make us more likely to receive; kindness begets kindness and as such giving to others may motivate others to give too, which could mean the giver is also likely to also receive. In addition to this, having meaningful connections with others will help to support our own physical and mental health, which is probably the best gift of all.

Dr Elena Touroni

Dr Elena Touroni

23 December 2016

"Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector."

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Dr Elena Touroni

Dr. Elena Touroni is a skilled and experienced Consultant Psychologist with a track record of delivering high-quality services for individuals with all common emotional difficulties and those with a diagnosis of personality disorder. She is experienced in service design and delivery, the management of multi-disciplinary teams, organisational consultancy, and development and delivery of both national and bespoke training to providers in the statutory and non-statutory sector.


Having obtained a first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the American College of Greece, she completed her doctoral training at the University of Surrey. Dr. Touroni is highly experienced in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, substance misuse, personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, adjustment disorder and relationship difficulties. She works with both individuals and couples and can offer therapy in English and Greek.


Dr. Touroni has held a variety of clinical and managerial positions including as Head of Service in the NHS. Further she has held academic positions for the University of Surrey and the Institute of Mental Health lecturing on specialist postgraduate Masters and Doctorate programmes.


She is trained in several specialist therapeutic approaches such as schema therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based approaches and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT). As well as holding a variety of NHS positions, Dr. Touroni is the co-founder of a private practice in Central London that has been a provider of psychological therapy for all common emotional difficulties including personality disorder since 2002. She is the founder and one of two directors of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic.