What makes you happy? The answer to this question is not static. It changes from year-to-year, or even day-to-day, depending on what triumphs or challenges we are facing.
The loss of a loved one may drastically change what makes you happy. Doing the same things you always did with that other person may make things worse and not better. Staying home and watching a movie with your spouse may have been the highlight of your week and now it has turned into a depressing endeavor.
Trying to make yourself happy by spending money on yourself or making sure you have enough “alone time” likely is not going to bring you out of your dark moments. We have all heard that it is better to give than to receive, and many research studies have proven this timeless saying to be correct. Giving to others, especially during your own time of need, can make you happier.
What can you get from giving to others? More than money can buy…
- Volunteering or donating gives a sense of purpose and direction
- It helps create a community and a sense of belonging
- You can find gratitude and perspective on your own circumstances
- More happiness endorphins are released when you spend money on others compared to spending money on yourself
- It reduces stress, which improves your overall health
Giving to others after you have lost so much may seem like an oxymoron. However, it may be the best gift you have ever given yourself. Our external environment accounts for only 10% of our overall happiness. The remaining 90% is made up of our inner environment. How you feel on the inside is what truly makes you happy. Do good for yourself by doing good for others.
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