How do you feel when you receive a gift? Overwhelmed with happiness, right? It makes sense, then, that giving gifts can increase your own level of happiness as well. Here are five simple reasons why giving gifts makes us happy, along with some useful tips on how to give better gifts yourself in the future.

1) Gifts are a great way to strengthen relationships

One of my favorite benefits of giving a gift is that it strengthens relationships. A gift says I was thinking about you, and in today’s busy world where people are increasingly distracted by social media and emails, gifts often represent face-to-face time—or even a phone call or text message. Thinking of your grandmother isn’t worth anything if you never actually buy her something—so why not take action?

And when you give a gift to someone else, remember that they were probably thinking about you too! You can strengthen your relationship with someone else simply by taking time to give them something. It doesn’t have to be expensive; I recently gave my dad some candy he likes and he lit up like a Christmas tree.

2) A gift makes you happy because it lets you support someone

It feels good to be able to give someone something they value. Gift giving is not just about receiving a gift, but it’s also about making someone else happy with your choice of gift. There’s nothing like seeing that smile on your partner or friend’s face when they open your present and find what you’ve selected for them. It is so much more than just materialistic things, it symbolizes love, compassion, and thoughtfulness.

3) A gift shows that you care about someone else’s happiness

There’s no doubt that gifts are often associated with holidays and special occasions, but giving presents doesn’t have to be restricted to one time of year. In fact, it’s probably best to give without reason—that way, you can show those closest to you how much they mean to you any time of year. A gift expresses thoughtfulness and is a reminder that people care about each other: If there was an award for the nicest person in your life,

wouldn’t you want it? Well, everyone loves presents too. When we think about getting something we really like (or even something we really need), positive feelings arise.

4) A gift gives you value as it helps your recipient’s life in some way

If you give someone a gift, you’re giving them value. That can come in many forms. If it’s an edible item, they’ll enjoy eating it. If it’s apparel, they’ll appreciate wearing it (not to mention that they might be more inclined to take your fashion advice). A thoughtful gift will also let your recipient know how much you care about them and will go a long way toward showing how much you value their friendship or relationship.

5) People who give gifts are happier than those who don’t

The process of choosing a gift and watching someone’s face light up when they receive it is incredibly gratifying. Plus, research shows that people who give to others are generally happier than those who don’t.

If you regularly find yourself worrying about what to buy everyone on your list or if you dread the holiday shopping season, focus on giving thoughtful gifts instead. A gift doesn’t have to be materialistic; spending time and effort on something for someone else counts, too.