Do Good, Feel Better: Why Happiness Starts With Giving Back

In a world that focuses on individual accolades, financial status and titles, you would think happiness and financial success would go hand in hand. Generally the opposite is true. While personal accomplishment can be satisfying, we are remembered for the impression we leave upon others and on the world.

It’s not about doing for others so they can do for you. That’s not how it works. The point is to good so there is more goodness to go around for those who need it most. Random acts of kindness create a ripple effect – the positive effects can be felt far beyond the act itself. It can be a form of therapy and in fact, some of the happiest people are ones who routinely give back.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer somebody else up” – Mark Twain

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Here is why doing good makes you look good and feel even better:

  • It provides perspective into your own problems. Seeing your positive impact on the world may make you realize you don’t have as much to complain about as you thought you did.
  • Increased life satisfaction and increases feelings of competence. Acts of kindness do wonders for your self-confidence. It’s hard to feel down when you’re bringing others up!
  • Improved mood and reduced stress. In fact studies show* that giving help boosts your mental well-being more than receiving it!
  • Sense of purpose. Sure you may have a dayjob and your calendar may be full. But what are you doing to really make your mark on the world?
  • Connecting with others who share your passions. If you’re tired of making shallow connections, maybe you’re looking in the wrong place. Try doing good in order to meet better people.

Do good, feel better, and shine on!

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*Action for Happiness report.

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