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The Secret to Happiness is Giving Back to Others

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What is the first thing you do when something amazing happens to you? You immediately let share the good news to someone important to you. Then what do you do when something upsetting happens? Hopefully, you reach out to others and seek support from others.
We as human beings rely on one another for emotional support, be it for good and bad. We all need to contribute to help those surround us. Whether it means helping your friend out by being there for them through tough times or even by contributing to the community for a greater cause.

Listen carefully… I will let you in on a secret. The secret to true happiness is giving back. Small or big it does not matter because giving back itself does not have its measurements; it is an opportunity to step out of ourselves and bettering the lives of others while at the same time it can be therapeutic to those who are giving as well. A famous Chinese proverb goes: “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.”

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Our bodies react to our actions. Our brain’s pleasure and reward centers activate when we give back to others, and it also gives us a boost of feel-good endorphins. Oxytocin, the “love hormone” gets released, impacting the way we bond with people and creating certain responses such as trust and empathy for others.

Moreover, researchers have done studies and found out that one reason giving back may improve physical health and longevity is that it helps decrease stress, which is associated with a variety of health problems. One of the most interesting studies was done by Rachel Piferi from Johns Hopkins University and Kathleen Lawler from the University of Tennessee, conducting a study with people who provided social support to others who had a lower blood pressure than to participants who did not, which suggests a direct health benefit.

What is more, when we are giving to others, is that we are not the only ones who make them feel closer to us but we are also making us feel closer to them. The reason why is because giving is a sense of eliciting feelings of gratitude and creates a deeper social connection with one another. It is a ripple effect where we inspire those around us to do the same. To create a better community for the future generation we must act today; we must make sure that our children understand as to what one’s contribution to the community would be like – donating, volunteering, and of course helping a variety of causes. Such activities will inspire our future generation to help the community, their classmates, and friends, and their loved ones.

What you can do to give to others is to give someone your time. Being present there for someone in need is a great way to build a stronger relationship and trust among them. Even giving a gift to someone illustrates a token of gratitude, because it may hold a strong significance to the receiver. Do you remember a moment when you gave someone a present? Then you can probably recall the exact moment when they opened their eyes with great curiosity and complete awe. This is why giving back to others is special. Their happiness makes you happier.

Giving back to others is about how you can better the lives of the people around you – your loved ones, the people in your community or even the lives of seven billion people somewhere else in the world – as well as establishing a sense of happiness for yourself.


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