Happiness through giving

Happiness through giving

As I’ve said and written many times before, happiness is not just feeling good; happiness is just as much about doing good.

There is a growing body of valid and reliable research from which we can confidently conclude that _ã–in giving, we receive_ã.  That is, giving is not just good for the receiver but that it_ã_s also good, and possibly even more valuable for the giver (who receives a “return on his/her investment” in happiness).

Some quick facts

  • Giving protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease
  • Giving in high school predicts good physical and mental health into adulthood
  • Giving reduces mortality significantly in later life
  • Giving markedly reduces depression and suicide risk
  • Giving is more powerful than receiving
  • Giving to others helps us forgive ourselves for our own mistakes which is key to a sense of wellbeing and happiness

So why is giving good?

  • When we give, we turn off the stress response and eliminate negative emotions
  • Giving triggers the _ã–helper_ã_s high_ã, a physiological reaction that contributes to feelings of strength and energy and happiness
  • Giving enhances our sense of control over our lives

Different ways of giving

And if you don’t have lots of money to donate to charities the good news is that in additional to financial giving there are many other ways to make a contribution including, but not limited to…

  • Time
  • Resources
  • Experience
  • Knowledge
  • “Stuff” you no longer use or need

The above has mostly come from Post & Neimark_ã_s wonderful book _ã–Why good things happen to good people_ã. 

You can read more about Stephen Post_ã_s fascinating research at – http://www.unlimitedloveinstitute.org