If you want to find happiness, a great place to start is by helping others. Early in life, we are taught the lesson on Sharing 101: “It is better to give than to receive.” The holidays is a great time to put this into practice. This isn’t just about feelings but backed by scientific evidence. An MRI of a person’s brain shows activity occurring when a person is giving to another. It is actually hardwired in us and can effectively not just make us happier, but healthier and more productive. Of course the opposite can also be true. It is important to remember that giving can hurt and make a person feel that they are being taken advantage of. Make sure you find your healthy balance.
Here are different ways that you can help others:
1. Give your time. Usually a person will appreciate another’s time more than the monetary value of a gift. So you might consider doing a movie night with your grandparents, or watching your younger sibling so that your parents can have a break. This will often be more meaningful.
2. Make the first move. You don’t have to wait until you receive something in order to return the favor. Be proactive and give out of your own generosity.
3. Connect giving to things you are passionate about. When you care more about a case, you will feel more. If you play basketball, maybe think about donating some basketballs to kids who may not have the means to afford one. You will be happier just spreading the joy the sport brings to you.
4. Be intentional. It is not enough to help someone else just because it’s the right thing to do. Be intentional. Really take the time to understand the cause or listen to another person. This can make all the difference.
For this #MakeItHappen Monday, and with Christmas right around the corner, find ways to help someone else. It doesn’t have to be big, you can start small. Small acts every day add up before you know it! Let us know how you’re helping, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“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.”
– Chinese Proverb