Can helping others really make you happier?
Let’s explore this concept together. Like so many things in life, happiness is a matter of perspective. When you are feeling anxious, or even a little depressed, it’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions. The more you think about your situation, the darker your thoughts tend to get, until moving forward seems impossible.
This is exactly why I love the following quote by Mark Twain, who said, “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”
There is a lot of wisdom in this simple statement. I don’t know about you, but, I am seldom able to talk myself out of a bad mood. The only thing that seems to help is being pulled away or offered a new perspective from a friend, book, song or other external source.
But, the good news is that we don’t need to wait for help. As Mark Twain said, we can get out there into the world and start bringing joy into the lives of others.
Doing so accomplishes several things. First, helping others gives us a shot of happiness – most of us love to see other people smile. Second, helping others in need gives us perspective on our own problems. We may find that our lives are not as tragic as they feel in our minds.
There are so many ways that you can make the world a better place, while increasingly your own happiness.
Maybe you want to tutor local children in math, science or English. Or, perhaps there is a nursing home in your city that is looking for volunteers. Or, if you are looking for something less “formal,” maybe you have a neighbor who is struggling with loneliness and might appreciate you popping over for a cup of tea.
If none of these ideas sound appealing, all you need to do is Google “volunteer opportunities” followed by your country and you will have more choices than you can imagine.
Do you agree that one of the best ways to lighten your mood and find happiness is to help others? Why or why not? What volunteer opportunities do you take advantage of? Please join the discussion.