How to increase happiness is one of the most sought questions about personal development. More than being in a good mood, happiness is a state of well-being that includes a sense of meaning, contentment, and satisfaction with life. It is also a common notion that people from every corner of the world state that happiness tends to be more important to them rather than just being wealthy and seeking material goods. One of the primary reasons being the visible improvement in our physical health, experiencing the feeling of positivity, a longer lifespan as well as a higher quality of life and well-being.
Now, how do we increase happiness in life? A general approach could be finding your passion and working for it, but it encompasses various challenges and also takes a longer time. Hence, a more simple and quick hack could be prosocial spending, where a person tries to help others by spending either their resources, be it money or time, for a minimum of two hours a week. This increase in experiencing happiness could be due to the act of doing something for others. This makes one feel that they are participating in something greater than themselves, that they are a part of making positive changes in others’ lives, and are also leaving a positive imprint on the world.
To further understand this, a Harvard study provided money to their participants and instructed one-half of them to buy things for themselves and the other half to buy things for others. As a result, they found that when participants recalled their purchases the half who bought things for others were happier than the other half of the participants. This might also be the reason why we now find a number of people being very active in philanthropy.
But it doesn’t mean that in order to help others you specifically need to spend money, as it’s more about spending any of your resources. For example, volunteering at a nearby NGO can also prove to improve your life satisfaction.
Therefore, to cultivate more happiness in your life. Take the first step by thinking about what you can do to help other people or the communities near you. Secondly, dedicate a couple of hours specifically for this purpose and lastly try to maintain consistency each week. Slowly, you will observe yourself to be a little more happy and content than before.
Bonus tip: Happiness within our social network also boosts our happiness (about 15.3 % more when we know the other person is also happy), hence, you can boost your happiness by spending more time with people who are generally content and positive about life.