Remember when you were a kid and you were excited about Christmas because you’d be receiving gifts? Remember how elated you felt about the whole season? How about now? We still say that we will be happier if we’re going to reward ourselves for working all year, but science says that our brains are wired to be happier when we give to others. That’s why we spend money shopping for Christmas gifts for the family. We are happier when we see our loved ones happy.
Even giving out secondhand things can make you feel good. Once you call a house removalist in Melbourne or other cities, it’s time to sort out the things that you will take and not take with you when you move to another home. For the things that are no longer of use to you, decide whether to sell them or give them away to the less fortunate. You’ll find the latter gives you that “warm glow” of benevolence.
Philosophers and Historical Figures Believe That Helpfulness Is the Key to Happiness
Saint Francis of Assisi, Leo Tolstoy, Winston Churchill, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus all believe that serving and giving are the true act of happiness. These are the things inoculated in you the moment you open your eyes. Your parents will first teach you benevolence by sharing your things with the less fortunate or your food with your siblings. You learn early that giving is better than receiving. You hold this value until your later years.
Science has backed up this belief that people are inherently happier when they do good and give to others. A 2006 study shows that when people give to charities, regions of their brains that are associated with pleasure, sex, trust, and social connection are activated. Doing something good releases endorphins in the brain that produces what is called a “helper’s high.”
Giving to people helps reduce stress and thus improves the physical health of the giver. People who volunteer their time to charities are less likely to die in five years. Your help doesn’t have to be in monetary form. Giving emotional support to friends, family, and romantic partners will also improve one’s health.
People who provide moral support to others have lower blood pressure as compared to people who don’t. This reduces their likelihood of contracting cardiovascular diseases. Indeed, generosity has a direct physiological effect on one’s physical health.
Giving to others strengthen your ties to people and the community. Although you do not expect what you give to be returned to you, the generosity of the people around you may surprise you. Sometimes, the reward will be returned to you by the person you have helped. Sometimes, it will be returned through someone else. This process promotes a sense of trust and connectedness.
There are a lot of ways you can give to others—through your time, money, effort, and passions. But remember that when you decide to help, it should come from your heart. Many times, when you help people, you feel depleted and taken advantage of. Focus on how you can help people and don’t mind how abusive some can be.