“True happiness consists in making happy.”
Bharavi’s Kiratarjuniya, Hindu
There are many ways to create a greater sense of happiness in your life, but one of the simplest and most powerful is by giving to others. Why does giving to others make you feel happier?
• You minimize your own troubles.
Focusing on what you can do for people in need is a great way to put your own problems into perspective. By nature we tend to magnify our own problems and think they’re much worse than they really are – but encountering someone who is experiencing even greater challenges sure changes that outlook quickly! It’s not that your own problems vanish just because you see someone who’s worse off than you are, but rather you gain a bit more perspective and realize that your struggles could be much worse than they are.
• You focus more on abundance.
When you give to others, you automatically switch your focus from lack to abundance – even if you’re not giving financially! Focusing more on your problems and difficulties can’t help but result in a keen awareness of lack, but by giving of yourself to those in need you are essentially affirming that you have “more than enough” – which will translate into all areas of your life as a focus on abundance.
• Blessing others just feels good!
It doesn’t matter if you’re making a financial donation or sharing your time or other resources – it just feels good to help others. That feeling also grows when you make giving a regular habit, regardless of the size of the contributions. The more you do for others, the better you’ll feel about yourself. If you want to enhance that good feeling even further, give anonymously. You’ll be blessing others without expecting to receive anything in return; and instead allow giving to be its own reward – which makes the reward that much sweeter!
You may feel that you don’t have anything to give to others right now – and this is especially true if you’re experiencing serious financial troubles or other lack. However, giving in ANY way can immediately make you feel happier and more abundant!
Become a mentor for children or young adults. Do you have specialized skills or training? Donate your expertise to a non-profit organization for a few hours a week. Are you good at making others laugh and feel good? Volunteer at a hospital or elderly care facility. There are endless ways to reach out to others, and only a few of them involve money.
If you truly have nothing else to give, become a “goodwill ambassador” and make it your mission to go around spreading kind words and support to the people you meet each day. When you notice that a public servant is having a bad day, say something to make them smile. Compliment your co-workers. Express your appreciation to a police officer, firefighter or soldier. Tip your waiter, hair stylist and cab driver generously, or leave a handwritten note thanking them for the excellent service.
These are all such small gestures – but they have a huge impact, both on the one who receives and the one who gives.
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Have a Giving Day!