Make Yourself Happy
Are you feeling unhappy, stressed, and anxious? Are you caught up in your own problems? A solution to bringing some happiness into your life may be as simple as the age old principle of helping others to help yourself. Research shows that people who give freely of their time, money, support, or resources are happier with their lives and less depressed than those who don’t. Helping others is a wonderful way to increase our own happiness.
There are a number of reasons that helping others provides stress relief and generates greater happiness. One is that giving to someone else usually generates positive feelings of kindness, compassion, self-worth, generosity, and joy. You may have a sense of satisfaction out of making a difference in someone else’s life. It can be emotionally rewarding to see someone benefit from something you have done.
Helping others boosts your happiness because it increases your sense of community and fulfills a basic human need of connecting with others. More research is showing that people with fewer social contacts have a shorter life span than people with wider social circles, regardless of race, income level, or other lifestyle factors. If you are lonely and isolated, helping others is one way to build a social life. It can also provide a sense of self-worth by feeling needed and valued for your contributions.
Your own happiness is increased by helping others in another important way. When we are stressed, depressed, or anxious, we are highly self-focused. Giving to others relieves stress by shifting our focus from ourselves. Many times, that break from our intense self-focus is just what we need to view our problems with a fresh perspective. In comparison with those we help, we may see that our problems are more manageable and not as overwhelming as we thought. Helping others who are less fortunate may help us to see everything about our own lives in a more positive light.
Our self-esteem can be elevated by helping others. Positive feedback and expressions of gratitude for our good deeds enables us to feel pride in our accomplishments and in ourselves. Helping others can give a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives. These positive feelings of self-worth can extend into our daily lives with very beneficial results.
A huge time commitment and grand gestures are not required to help others. Helping others can be as simple as random acts of kindness, such as smiling at a stranger or letting another car go through an intersection before you. You can, of course, up your efforts by volunteering for an organization, such as working with a literacy program, making fundraising calls, or coaching a sport. Volunteer for a cause you believe in or help a person you care about.
Helping others makes us happier by enabling us to move beyond ourselves and to make a real difference in the world. Help yourself by helping others!