Secret to happiness? A little bit of generosity

Scientists have found that generosity made people happier and promising to be more generous was enough to trigger a change in our brain giving us pleasant feeling.

Researchers said those who were concerned about the well-being of their fellow human beings were happier than those who focused on their own advancement. Doing something nice for another person gives many a pleasant feeling that behavioural economists call a warm glow.

Secret to happiness? A little bit of generosity (Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images)

University of Zurich researchers investigated how areas in the brain communicated to produce this feeling. However, amount of generosity did not influence the increase in contentment. “You do not need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little generous will suffice,” said Philippe Toblerfrom the university. Before the experiment, some of the participants had verbally committed to behaving generously. This group was willing to accept higher costs to do something nice for others. They considered themselves happier after their generous behaviour than the control group.

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