Happy at will
Share your time, do good deeds and enjoy life.
According to statistics, a quarter of Americans are volunteers and on average devote more than 100 hours a year to good deeds (if you think about it, it's only 2 hours a week). At first glance, the idea of talking with a child about the importance of working disinterestedly for the benefit of others may seem wise. But my parents explained everything to me without words - they themselves often worked as volunteers.
WAY TO HAPPINESS
To benefit society, to share your time, money and energy is valuable and necessary. Everyone knows about it. It’s also proved: people who regularly work as volunteers and come to the rescue of others in difficult situations, feel more joyful and healthy. They are less likely to experience pain and even ... live longer. But what’s important: they are positive not because they are healthy and in great shape. Helping others makes them happy!
When working as a volunteer, do not expect instant results and momentary returns. But this activity gives us the opportunity to develop, and often in unexpected directions. We ourselves learn and help others learn something new. We are improving the circumstances. We correct the situation as much as possible. And from this we become more positive.
CONTINUE TO GROW
You can organize a meeting in support of landscaping the yard. Or help out in the dining room for the poor. Or sit for free with the child of your lonely neighbor, who is forced to work in three jobs. By doing good to others, you grow inwardly and yourself are charged with the energy of joy.
A feeling of happiness more often occurs when we give, not receive. And this is true: I feel satisfaction when I think that I have done for others, rather than about what I received in return (although gratitude is important).
One of the most pernicious myths about happiness is this: if you are trying to become happier, then you are an egoist. However, numerous surveys and studies prove the opposite.
Happy people spend more time helping others, are more likely to volunteer and donate money more easily. They have excellent relationships with family and colleagues, better health and good habits. But what is especially important: a feeling of happiness gives people enough strength to direct their emotions and thoughts outward - to others. While unhappy people are concentrated on their own needs and problems (from which they feel even more depressed and isolated).
They say: happy people feel an urgent need for help to others and, helping, become even happier. And when we are unhappy, we strive first of all to solve our problems, at this moment we are not up to the experiences of others. I decided to check it out for myself.
Now I work as a volunteer in the New York Public Library. By the way, I love libraries and am glad that I can help and improve their work! Do you want to read an excellent book, or find a cozy room for learning a foreign language, or show your child something unusual, or just look for a quiet place to write a dissertation - in the library you will find all this, and moreover, for free. I like silence and calm in the halls, I like that the atmosphere of diligence and learning reigns around. I remember in college, when it became sad, I always went to the huge central library and collected stacks of books. Yes, and now I often go to the neighboring library to work as a volunteer.
The research predictions turned out to be true: I benefit society (by working in the library) and I feel absolutely happy! I met a lot of people who share my love of reading and research. I discovered so many new books and materials, the existence of which I had not previously suspected. Finally, I can even name the two marble lions standing at the main entrance to the building - Patience and Courage.
If at the moment of your life you feel that you do not have extra money to help others, then share your time and energy. Good deeds are good feelings. The habit of helping other people makes us happy! I hope I convinced you.
PHOTO: BJöRN WALLANDER, ILLUSTRATION: SERGE BLOCH