(HappierDaily.com) – No, it’s not winning the lottery or an intimate encounter. It’s actually a near tie between love and giving. Some argue they are one in the same. If you want to experience the best feeling in the world, many believe you can only get it by giving your time, talent or money to someone who needs help.
“Giving makes you happier and can help you live longer too.”
That “Warm Glow” Feeling Is Like a Drug (or is it Actually a Drug?)
The warm feeling inside you get from giving… is more than a feeling. Research shows the “warm glow effect” can actually be seen on MRI scans in the reward centers of the brain. It turns out, the “warm glow” feeling we get from giving involves an increase in endorphins which have a similar feel-good effect as the drug Morphine. It also makes the stress hormone cortisol actually dissipate more quickly, thus lowering blood pressure and resulting in a calming sensation.
You Have Time to Feel Great
Your giving time is not in competition with your free time, recreation or something to dread doing. Remember, it’s the best feeling in the world–you have time for it. The question is simply, how much time can you afford to give?
It Doesn’t Have to Cost Money
One of the most fun ways to give is to help someone else with your time. Some might argue that sharing your time and skills with someone feels as good or better than making a monetary contributions. All of the same trends about money and happiness hold true for giving time through volunteer work. Good deeds become good feelings when people can work with or witness the effect their voluntary work has on someone else.
In a study of 136 countries, 122 of them surveyed responded that charity donation had about the same impact on happiness as compared to a doubling of their own household income!
If You Can Spare a Few Extra Bucks
The dream house or dream car might be rewarding at first, but it is likely not to keep you happy for the long haul. The traditional concept of money buying happiness means buying stuff for ourselves. As it turns out, money can buy you happiness—but it’s not about how much money you have. It’s about how you spend it on others!
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