“Sharing is caring”, the saying might seem old-fashioned but the fast-growing sharing economy sure isn’t. Fuelled by creative start-ups that offer a new, and often more fun and personal, way of doing things this movement is giving a new shine to sharing. And rightfully so because sharing has serious benefits for those who do it. We’ve listed six benefits of sharing to convince even the most un-sharing people.

Or so we hope.

Sharing feels so good, it’s actually addictive

Sharing triggers the brain chemicals that make you feel really good.

Sharing is addictive, true fact. If you help someone, you feel important and valued and your brain get’s a dose of serotonin. The great feeling you get from these lovely brain drugs means you can even get addicted to doing good. Oh and receiving help from strangers also makes you feel all warm and cuddly (thank you oxytocin!) so you win no matter if you’re the helper or the receiver. Pretty sweet right?

Sharing gives you better career opportunities

How sharing can help you find a job

Many sharing initiatives actually create new job opportunities and facilitate entrepreneurship, thus giving you more career options. And with knowledge sharing initiatives like KonnektidCoursera and Codeacademy you have means to develop yourself and learn new job skills. Added benefit: you meet new people through sharing which allows you to expand your (professional) network which in turn gives you better chances of finding a job.

Sharing makes you less scared of strangers

Benefits of sharing: it makes you less scared of strangers

Sharing allows us to meet strangers and make meaningful connections with them. Experiencing that a total stranger can borrow your car/house/power drill and treat it well, will increase your trust in other people. Even better when you experience that total strangers are willing to help you out by sharing with you.

“People who experience a wider radius of face-to-face contacts, encompassing members of other groups, find that they have greater tolerance for people who are different than them.”

Diana Mutz, a professor of political science and communications at the University of Pennsylvania, also argues that meeting new people helps you become more tolerant. Professor Mutz: “People who experience a wider radius of face-to-face contacts, encompassing members of other groups, find that they have greater tolerance for people who are different than them.” she says. “When this happens, people are better able to understand the rationale for other people’s viewpoints and are more willing to uphold the civil rights of others.” That sounds like something the world could use a lot more of!

Sharing makes you live longer & healthier

Benefit of sharing: you live a longer and healthier life

So we’ve established that sharing what you have is a great way to meet new people. But did you know that this is good for your health? Research suggests that people who have a more diverse social network tend to be happier, healthier, and live longer. Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University for instance has found that people with a wide range of social relationships have less cognitive decline as they age and greater resistance to infectious disease. So your mind stays fitter and your body healthier! And it’s always nice to meet new people that share the same (sharing) values and care about the same issues that you do. Instant friend material.

Sharing is great for the planet you call homeSharing is good for the planet you call home

You like to breath right? Thought so. Sharing cars, tools, houses, and other stuff means that you have to buy less. This way less of our planets valuable resources have to be spend on (under-utilised) stuff. And did you know that researchers are now stating that car sharing could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 14% per car sharer annually? Nice. So if you want to save the planet you call home: Share more, buy less.

Sharing keeps money in your pocket

Sharing saves you money and you can earn some extra cash with what you have.

Some might argue that this is the most important benefit of sharing but we think it’s just an added bonus. Yes, sharing allows you to save money or make more of it. Rent out your bike, car or spare room for some extra cash. Or save money by finding people that can teach you for free, allow you to crash their coach whilst travelling or let you borrow their power tools so you don’t have to buy items you hardly use.

What is your main driver for sharing? Anything we’ve missed? Just send me a message or leave a comment below. If you’re convincing enough, I will be sure to add it to this list. 

All the images in this blog were made possible by the contributors of Unsplash. Thank you for so generously sharing your amazing work with the world!