Looking for that happiness advantage that will increase your well-being and overall happiness?
You know that old saying, Today is the first day of the rest of your life? What does it mean? To me, it means that it’s never too late to do things you always wanted to do; things that make you happy, or less stressed, or more successful, or involved with the world around you. In other words, it’s never too late.
As we get back to “normal” some people are wondering if this is the time to review their lives. Is life before the pandemic the life you still want? Maybe life BC (Before COVID) didn’t leave a lot of room for much besides yourself, and you’d like to change that.
Lets look at these two research papers and theories that might help you find your Happiness Advantage.
The first theory is called the Helper’s High. A Harvard Business School professor found that giving money to someone made you happier than spending it on yourself. Participants thought that spending the money on themselves would make them happier, but after conducting the experiment they found the opposite was true. What they found was when we give to others, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. One group called this the “warm glow” effect. The researcher has now labeled this the ‘Helper’s High’.
If you find that happiness by giving, there is a psychology theory that suggests that happier people are more successful. It’s called the Happiness Advantage. But note, the level of one’s happiness will help determine our success. Success is not first, happiness needs to come first.
“When people are happy, they perform to the best of their abilities and therefore, are more successful. Rather than working hard to be happier, employees need to be satisfied in the present to achieve their goals’.
Based on a Harvard University professor’s research that giving makes you happy, one little give every day will perk up your spirits, will increase your happiness and will positively affect your well-being. “Performing acts of kindness” sounds daunting, but doing one nice thing for someone every day is easier than you think. Pick up your clothes. Clear the table. Bring your colleague a coffee. Little things, what we call small acts of giving. Once you start giving, you will begin to feel the Helper’s High. When your colleague says “Hey, thanks, just what I need,” or your mother gives you that smile when you clear the table, or you come home to a tidy room, you feel it inside. That warm glow, the Helper’s High.
That’s great but will it make you successful?
I think you have to go from one theory to the other to test it. First, complete acts of kindness every day for a few weeks. Little ones and bigger ones. Does this make you feel good? Not amazing or mind-blowing, but good – better than you felt before you did the deed.
Okay, that’s the first step. But how does that translate into your personal success, your definition for success. Check this out first at work. When your happiness quotient is up due to your giving habit, you will be more inclined to put in an extra hour or two on that important project. That impresses your boss and could lead to your success. If you work independently, you may find projects easier to manage, your stress level decreasing, or clients are seeing better work coming from you. This change in work habits will increase your level of success at work.
But success is not driven completely by work. We look for success in our personal relationships with friends, family and spouses. Let’s look at a family situation. If you’re feeling happy, you don’t mind taking the kids to the park. That gives your partner time alone. This cooperation and understanding of our needs to have some alone time helps to build and maintain a successful relationship.
Here are some giving suggestions to consider:
1.It’s your mother’s birthday. You have a choice of a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store that you deliver or a bouquet that is delivered by a third party to her door. When you see her smile when she receives the flowers, you will believe in that study. Pick the option where you hand deliver the flowers yourself so you can witness the happiness first hand.
2.You are at your local coffee shop. Just say “two coffee and breakfast sandwiches” instead of one. Another $5.00 out of your pocket might just be the only meal that person on the street outside has today. Of it could just be what a friend wants once you get to work or school. Pass a coffee and sandwich forward for your give.
3. Every year you vow you’re going to start giving regularly to a worthy cause. You just never get around to it. Tonight’s the night. You know that organization that helps young people; the ones who are always writing to you? Look them up online and arrange to give them just $5 a month.
4. You pass someone at the market who is collecting for the local theatre. A couple of bucks out of your pocket won’t be missed and it will help to keep the theatre open.
5. You know there is a breakfast program at the school. There’s nothing that feels better than helping kids. Give up something you don’t really need and donate the money to the program, or volunteer at the school once a month to help the program first hand.
How do you feel when you give? How did you feel before you gave and how did you feel after you gave? Based on the research and our 365give members feedback, you will feel happier. You will feel more socially connected. You will be ready to start your day with this Happiness Advantage. Are you ready to start increasing your happiness? Signup for a free 365give membership so you have all the resources you need at your fingertips to live a happier and more successful life just by giving every day.