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Psychologists explain why helping people is the fastest way to find happiness

Nowadays, many people deal with the difficulties of an ordinary day by surrendering and “taking a break”. This type of attitude is even seen with good eyes, since, after some time “off the air”, the person can come back with more willingness to recover from uncomfortable situations.

But a Psychology study published not long ago goes against this idea and presents a different way of dealing with the unpleasantness of a bad day. Carefully following the results of this survey can provide you with a powerful tool for dealing with this type of situation.

The team of awesome.club wants to make your days more… amazing! And not just ordinary days, but also those when you get up on your left foot. Therefore, in this post we will show you a way to make yourself and other people happy at the same time.

Forget chocolates and movies with friends

You took so long to deliver that super complicated report, you argued with your boyfriend over something absolutely unimportant and, to make matters worse, your house had a huge leak. Whatever the situation, when you count on a real friend for the little misfortunes of your life, she is likely to say something like “Don’t worry! I’ll take you to the movies on the weekend” or “I’ll go to your house right away and bring you some chocolates, okay?” Of course, gestures like this are important and should never be overlooked. But keep in mind that the joy will last until the end of the movie or the last piece of chocolate.

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The Discovery That Generosity Brings Happiness

A group of researchers led by Dr. Katherine Nelson, a psychologist at the University of the South, in the State of Tennessee, United States, decided to assess whether there was any scientific support for the idea that focusing only on one’s own life and one’s achievements brings more happiness and emotional health to one person than dedicating oneself to helping others. The work revealed that people who tend to think more about themselves tend not to feel more positive emotions. Those who usually feel fulfilled emotionally are those who are constantly concerned with helping those in need.

What the research found

In all, the study had 473 volunteers, who were divided into groups. A part of the members was guided to carry out some good deed, whatever it was. It could be, for example, picking up rubbish from the streets, planting a tree or doing something simple and useful, like helping a relative with a chore. The other group should carry out actions with more individualistic characteristics, such as going on vacation. Finally, a third group should follow the life they already led, without changing anything. After a certain period, the participants had to answer a questionnaire about their psychological and social conditions. And the responses were revealing.

Helping others makes us happy

All volunteers who had committed themselves to tasks in which they forgot about themselves for a moment, whether helping people in need, carrying out some type of action to preserve the environment or even performing simple tasks, but with characteristics of detachment and altruism, said they felt an improvement in their mood🇧🇷 On the other hand, those who performed more individualistic tasks and those who followed their normal daily routines did not show any improvement in their mood.

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The happiness paradox: the easiest way to be happy is to make others happy

“People who strive for happiness can often be tempted to please themselves,” explains Dr. Nelson. “However, the results of our research show that they can be more successful in this pursuit when they decide to help others.” Other research had already reached the same result, challenging the common sense that focusing on oneself is a good method to improve one’s state of mind. But what would be behind this apparent paradox? The answer lies in an elemental chemical in our brain.

Welcome dopamine!

Helping people or performing any kind of act of kindness stimulates the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy and, depending on the situation, even euphoric. In other words, this substance is a kind of happiness drug and completely natural, produced by our own body. Eating chocolate, as many people may know, also releases dopamine, but it is not able to erase negative emotions. Gestures of generosity, on the other hand, release a generous dose of dopamine and still reduce negative emotionsprolonging any moment of happiness.

What other means do you believe can help improve our spirits? Tell us in the comments section!

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