While the festive season is often a time that takes its toll on our bodies, new research suggests that the act of gift-giving at Christmas could not improve your physical and mental health, but even help you to live longer.
According to US-based altruism and health researcher Professor Stephen Post, the potential benefits of this time of the year far outweigh the seasonal stress.
"A remarkable fact is that giving, even in later years, can delay death," Professor Post claims.
"The impact of giving is just as significant as not smoking and avoiding obesity."
Speaking to ABC Health Online, director of coaching psychology at the University of Sydney Dr Tony Grant explained that despite not understanding exactly how giving boosts health, knowing we've done something to improve the life of others shifts our attention away from our own stresses and worries.
"Your attention is placed on making other people feel better, not on worrying about yourself," Dr Grant said.
While Australians may be reluctant to worry about themselves, an easy way to acknowledge the importance of one's health throughout the year would be to consider taking out a private health insurance policy.
Advice from a health insurance broker may assist you in finding the best policy for your needs, providing you with the ultimate gift this Christmas – potentially improving your health.