Have you ever noticed how everything in the modern world encourages us to be self-centered?
Social media invites us to share every small detail of our lives – including what we are eating for breakfast. TV commercials encourage us to buy the latest gadgets, in a futile attempt to buy happiness.
For the most part, the goals that we set for ourselves are also selfish. We think that if we can put just a little more money in our bank accounts, or lose just a little more weight, all of our worries will float away.
There’s a problem though. According to recent research, compassionate goals are much more effective at reducing stress than self-centered goals. To put it simply, committing ourselves to helping others makes us happier.
Now, I’m not a psychologist, but, on an evolutionary level, this makes a lot of sense to me. Our survival used to depend on our ability to fit in socially. Shouldn’t we be emotionally rewarded for doing things that help us to form social bonds?
Regardless of the reasons, one thing is clear. Planning to help others, and then following through on our commitments, is a great way to make friends, reduce stress and find happiness.
Today, let’s all commit ourselves to doing one thing to help someone else. Let’s make the world a better place while improving our own lives in the process.
Do you find that you also feel better when you are helping other people? What goals do you have to make the world a better place – or just to make a difference in someone else’s life? Please join the conversation below.