WASHINGTON. Today there is tremendous research being done around the topic of happiness. One beneficial way this desirable state can be achieved is by giving to others.
There is a Chinese saying that goes as follows.
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
In other words, you can find happiness by helping others.
I learned a long time ago that helping others makes you feel better about yourself. Furthermore, once you experience the wonderful feeling that you get by giving, you will understand why this act can be so transformative. It can be even more powerful when you combine your passion with your giving.
I recently spoke at Hope Connections for Cancer Support, a wonderful organization. These people help those with cancer and their loved ones. They counsel them and teach them how to deal with the emotional and physical impact of cancer. I know I gained as much from giving my workshop as the participants who heard my presentation. When I think about my experience at Hope Connections, I get that good feeling we all seek.
According to a 2017 Time magazine article, there is scientific research supporting the saying that we’ve heard since we were kids: “It is better to give than to receive.”
Addithrough fMRI technology, research shows that the act of giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. This visually demonstrates how, by helping others, we we become happier, and healthier. As a result, we live a more meaningful life.
And yet, having said all these positive things about giving, there can also be a downside to such efforts as well.
Giving may not always make us feel great. In fact, this act can sometimes be depleting rather than energizing. At times, givers can actually end up feeling taken advantage of. That’s why you should take care to monitor your time spent as well as how you spend it.
Here are a few tips that may help:
Give where you find meaning
We tend to feel happier when we are giving to someone or something that has meaning to us. Choose what feels right for you.
Give with self-care in mind
Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, says it best, “It is important to be ‘other-ish,’” which he defines as being willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.
Give your time
Remember: giving does not have to be financial. Look at your schedule and choose some time to be of service to others. It can be a few hours or days a year.
Give to an organization
Make sure the organization you’re giving to is transparent with both their goals and results. According to Harvard scientist Michael Norton, “Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness than giving to an umbrella cause where you’re not sure where your money is going.”
Give by Role-Modeling
Finally, teach your children and others the gift of giving. In so doing, this teaches us to look outside of ourselves. That’s because there is nothing like matching your actions and words.
The gift of giving. In conclusion
Whether you choose to give based on scientific reasons or from your heart, it is a win-win situation.
For more Information Contact:
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Certified Business, Life & Career Coach Focusing on Confidence & Resilience Strategies and Transition
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039
Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.