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    The Secret to Happiness Is Helping Others

Organizational and Personal Success – It’s Good to Be Good

Research Demonstrates That People Who Help Others Usually Have Healthier, Happier Lives

Philosophers, religious leaders, mystics and poets have for Philosophers, religious leaders, mystics and poets have for millenniasaid, in various oft-quoted phrases, that it is good to be good to others. Call it karma, call it the boomerang effect, call it the sea of life; the wisdom of the ages has it that actions on behalf of others have a payback feature: the benefits of unselfish acts revert back to the giver. Virtue, as the saying goes, is its own reward. Increasingly, during the past few decades, science has been chiming in, putting this ancient wisdom to the test. In study after study, a striking amount of evidence demonstrates that, while we may understand the benefits of benevolence as devolving chiefly to the well-being of its recipients, doing good nourishes the giver as well. Depending on what a given study sets out to measure, the documented benefits may be psychological or physical, or both. Of course there is more to a healthy life than doing unto others. Many recommendations for staying healthy are sound. For instance, studies show that exercise and diet make a difference, as does a wide circle of friends, a happy marriage and a good night’s sleep. But the focus of this article is to demonstrate scientific support for the claim that efforts on behalf of another’s wellbeing is an important factor in living both a happier and a healthier life.

Increasingly, during the past few decades, science has been chiming in, putting this ancient wisdom to the test. In study after study, a striking amount of evidence demonstrates that, while we may understand the benefits of benevolence as devolving chiefly to the well-being of its recipients, doing good nourishes the giver as well. Depending on what a given study sets out to measure, the documented benefits may be psychological or physical, or both. Of course there is more to a healthy life than doing unto others. Many recommendations for staying healthy are sound. For instance, studies show that exercise and diet make a difference, as does a wide circle of friends, a happy marriage and a good night’s sleep. But the focus of this article is to demonstrate scientific support for the claim that efforts on behalf of another’s wellbeing is an important factor in living both a happier and a healthier life.  Read More


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