I’ve been saying for a while: helping others is one of the greatest happiness strategies.

So, I was pleased with an episode I heard on the TED Radio Hour. Michael Norton, one of the authors of Happy Money, the Science of Happier Spending described an experiment proving the point: helping others, in this case spending money on others rather than yourself, makes you happier.

The experiment went like this: they gave money to two groups of people. One group was instructed to spend the money on themselves. The other group was instructed to spend the money on others.

Before the participants were given any instructions or explanation about the experiment, they were asked how happy they were at that moment on a scale from 1-10. As is typical in experiments like this, people answered, on average, in the range of 7-9.

After the participants were given the money, they were given instructions on how to spend it, and then after they went out and spent it, they were once again asked how happy they were. The result: there was no real impact on the happiness of the people who spent the money on themselves. Meanwhile, the people who spent money on someone else saw an increase in their happiness.

That’s pretty cool.

Do you have experiences of increased happiness from helping others? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,

David

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