How Giving Rocks

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Scenario: "Dude, we'll be happy when we finally get: ______. Yay!" And then when you get that son-of-a-!@^^%, what happens?

  1. Your happiness level returns to where it were before.
  2. "Does life suck this much?" you ask yourself.
  3. "That is, whatever I achieve, my happiness level will always return to normal?!" you scream.
  4. You betcha -- that is, if you think: _______________ will make you happy.

"So how can I be truly happy?!" Do what the richest two folks in the world do: Start giving.

What Altruism Does To You

During gift-giving season, what makes you happier?

  • a) Searching, buying, giving gifts to family/friends.
  • b) Receiving your gifts.

Unless you're some psychotic gold-digging bastard, your brain subconsciously felt when you received your gifts: "Good gosh mutha-!@^^%^! I was so much happier when I gave those gifts. Ahh!" Why does that happen? According to researchers:

What Makes People Seriously Happy

  • [The care-and-connection part of the brain] is a very different part of the brain than is active with romantic love.
  • These brain studies show this profound state of joy and delight that comes from giving to others.
  • It doesn't come from any dry action -- where the act is out of duty in the narrowest sense, like writing a check for a good cause.
  • It comes from working to cultivate a generous quality -- from interacting with people.
  • There is the smile, the tone in the voice, the touch on the shoulder. We're talking about altruistic love.

And, the nice side-effect to giving:

You Start Living Longer, Too

According to the researchers:

Numbers of children, education, class, and work status did not affect longevity...52% of those who did not volunteer had experienced a major illness -- compared with 36% who did volunteer.

It's like your body telling you it wants to live longer because life is pretty gosh-dang-fun. So whenever you're feeling down-and-out, and you're looking for a quick-and-sustaining-happy-high:

Give something.


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Posted on March 09

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