Happiness is…giving

Happiness is…giving

Here’s an article from thewest.com.au in which I’m quoted talking about happiness and giving…

Here’s one for the girls to cheer about: shopping can be good for you. But there’s a catch. Giving may actually be better than splurging on gifts for yourself.

Timothy Sharp – aka Dr Happy – from The Happiness Institute, said giving to someone else could have an enormous impact on the way we feel.

“In giving, we receive. There’s bucket-loads of research from the last 10 or 20 years that shows that giving is good for the receiver, but it’s also good for the giver,” Dr Sharp said.

In fact, the feeling is so powerful that even the simple thought of giving can bring on the “warm glow” of doing something nice or altruistic. In a University of Oregon study, participants were given $100 and had their brain activity monitored by an MRI.

When shown scenarios of money coming from their own pockets and being donated to charity, activity in the pleasure and reward centres of the brain lit up.

And this had a ripple effect, Dr Sharp said.

Making a loved one happy or doing a good deed made us feel content on the inside, and in turn, the people around us would then benefit too because we were in high spirits.

But before you start thinking about what presents family members would like for Christmas, the best idea may not even be something materialistic.

“We often get hung-up on that and forget that we can give knowledge or experience or we can give time,” Dr Sharp said.

“As a parent for example, giving your time to children is far more valuable than a toy that they will forget about or outgrow.”

Carolyn Midwood, a Metro Counselling and Consultancy Service counsellor, said an act of kindness could be the ideal gift, even if it did not cost you a cent.

“If you find yourself wondering what you might give to someone for the festive season, consider just doing something special for them,” Ms Midwood said.

“Kindness is beyond doubt one of the most valuable character traits a person can have.”

See the original happiness article HERE