Why Giving Back and Happiness Have a Deep Connection

How does the act of charity make you feel? For some, it’s the satisfaction of knowing that their actions will make a difference in the world around them, while others might say that helping others makes them feel good about themselves. If you’re reading this, however, your interest in charity likely has something to do with altruism–otherwise known as the act of giving back or paying it forward. Scientists have discovered that humans are naturally inclined to act in ways that benefit society as a whole and each other, even if those acts don’t benefit them personally.

You’ve seen people do it before, and perhaps you’ve even done it yourself – you make donations to various charities in the name of someone special or help at a local animal shelter after hearing about it from your best friend. But do you know how much of an impact donating time and money to charitable causes can have on your level of happiness? If you’re looking to increase your level of joy and life satisfaction, consider focusing on charity work, as the link between altruism and happiness is something for you to consider.

As the executive director of Cameras For Girls, I wanted to give you some ways that charitable giving, whether time or money, can make you a happier person while also benefiting the charitable cause you care about.

Giving back = happier, healthier lives.

What if there were a direct connection between giving back to others in need and increasing your happiness? Thanks to scientific research, we know that people who give have an increased sense of meaning in their lives—and happiness is strongly associated with feeling like you’re living a meaningful life. When you feel happy, you also feel more connected to other people, increasing your sense of well-being. Some research has even suggested that altruism can create an altruistic brain loop in which doing good for others makes you happier. This link might be partially due to endorphins—natural chemicals released by our brains when we experience pleasurable emotions or behaviours like eating or sex.

What if there were a direct connection between giving back to others in need and increasing your happiness? Thanks to scientific research, we know that people who give have an increased sense of meaning in their lives—and happiness is strongly associated with feeling like you’re living a meaningful life. When you feel happy, you also feel more connected to other people, increasing your sense of well-being. Some research has even suggested that altruism can create an altruistic brain loop in which doing good for others makes you happier. This link might be partially due to endorphins—natural chemicals released by our brains when we experience pleasurable emotions or behaviours like eating or sex.

Ways you can give back that make you feel good.

Studies have found that helping others makes us happier—and there are several ways that altruism can improve our lives. Volunteering or giving money to charity, for example, provides us with a sense of purpose, which means we’re more likely to experience what experts call the helper’s high. And studies have shown that people who volunteer or donate money regularly have lower rates of depression, improved health overall and live longer than those who don’t give back.

Research also shows that giving back increases happiness by boosting self-esteem; people with strong egos are more likely to give than those with low ones.

I recently read a great book called “A Path Appears” by Nicholas D. Kristoff and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, about the link between altruism and happiness.

Studies have found that helping others makes us happier—and there are several ways that altruism can improve our lives. Volunteering or giving money to charity, for example, provides us with a sense of purpose, which means we’re more likely to experience what experts call the helper’s high. And studies have shown that people who volunteer or donate money regularly have lower rates of depression, improved health overall and live longer than those who don’t give back.

Research also shows that giving back increases happiness by boosting self-esteem; people with strong egos are more likely to give than those with low ones.

I recently read a great book called “A Path Appears” by Nicholas D. Kristoff and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, about the link between altruism and happiness.

They also claim that you collectively become happier when you give in a group setting. In some ways, it also creates competition as that’s our natural tendency, but this is not bad as the charity they are giving back to benefits triple-fold. A good example is people who donate their birthdays’ to raise money for a cause on Facebook. Our friends see that we donated to a cause we care about, which intrigues them to learn more about the cause and donate.

Tips for giving back without it feeling like a sacrifice

There are many ways to give back to charity. Here are some ideas on how to help without it feeling like a sacrifice:

  1. Surround yourself with other people who share your passion and build friends along the way.
  2. Set up a monthly donation that automatically comes out of your bank account or credit card – you won’t miss the money, and you will know you are doing good.
  3. Don’t set any self-imposed limits on what types of charities you want to support – try donating to new causes that speak to your heart.
  4. If monetary donations aren’t ideal, try donating your time volunteering – trust me, that organization you choose needs your help!
  5. Make it fun – look into opportunities where colleagues, friends, or family members could get involved together! Remember, when you donate together, you help the charity even more and have fun together simultaneously, thereby increasing your happiness levels.

Happiness is contagious so spread it around with your friends and family.

Every month my monthly donations to various causes come out automatically from my credit card. I never think about what I could have done with that money – instead, I consider how the money I donate is helping others.

For instance, I donate to the Rotary Foundation, which helps Rotary members to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace by improving health, providing quality education, improving the environment, and alleviating poverty. As a long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Newmarket.

I also donate to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto on a monthly basis to help the food crisis in our communities and finally to my charity, Cameras For Girls.

The Benefits of Giving Back to Charity

Though we may not realize it, our altruistic nature can have an incredible impact on our happiness. Studies have shown that people who are more altruistic are more likely to be happy in their daily lives. 

But how can giving back actually help us become happier people? Here’s how: By helping others, we shift our focus away from ourselves; we stop dwelling on problems or flaws (no matter how small they may seem) and start thinking about other things. This change in perspective has been scientifically proven to make us feel better about life. When we’re grateful for what we have instead of comparing ourselves to those around us, our happiness levels will rise . . . which makes it all worth it!

Cameras For Girls is a Canadian charity that invests in teaching photography and business skills to marginalized females in Africa. Our training creates jobs that help these girls get out of poverty, carve out a life for themselves, and shows that the camera can create long-lasting change when used as a tool.

Reach out to us if you are interested in donating time or money. Currently, we are raising funds to purchase cameras for our next training in Uganda in June 2022.

For instance, one of our volunteers says that every time he assists one of our students in Uganda to improve her skills and move forward with her goals to get paid work, it helps him feel happier because he can see the direct benefit of his volunteer efforts.

As the executive director of Cameras For Girls, I wanted to give you some ways that charitable giving, whether time or money, can make you a happier person while also benefiting the charitable cause you care about.

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