If You Want to Be Happy, Try to Make Someone Else Happy

A new study shows that doing kind things for others is an important path to happiness.

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he assured Americans of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This idea seems to lead many Americans to chase after new gadgets and hedonistic pleasures. But what if that approach is wrong? What if happiness comes from aiming to make others happy, instead of doing nice things for yourself?

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About The Author

Greater Good Science Center's picture

This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And we have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.

Actually, Maybe Money Can Buy Happiness

People today are gravitating towards consuming less frivolous goods in favor of spending money only on items that truly, genuinely bring happiness and delight. People and families everywhere are purging their homes of extraneous stuff, tailoring their lifestyles to feature more simplicity and less complication. That said, personal possessions still need to be purchased, requiring money to be spent. So, what is the best way to spend your money if you are looking to live a more joyous, condensed life?

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About The Author

Jade Pulman's picture

Jade is a full-time mother of three children she adores. She graduated with her bachelors degree in Family Studies and Nutrition and works hard to implement her learning into her family life. When not writing, you can find her in the outdoors or exploring museums and aquariums with her loving husband and children. 

6 Ways to Lift Yourself Up When Life Gets You Down

Everyone has bad days, and it can be difficult to perk up and feel like yourself. Fortunately, there are several effective steps you can take to help yourself feel better and get back on track.

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About The Author

Mikkie Mills's picture

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer who's passionate about health, fitness, organic cooking and eating, and yoga. When not writing she loves traveling, hiking, and cooking. Find more from Mikkie on Google+.

5 Great Ways to Feel Happier Today

Looking to increase your happiness and boost your mood? It doesn’t take much to experience more happiness in your daily life. Here are five simple lifestyle changes that will make a huge positive impact on your life.

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About The Author

Mikkie Mills's picture

Mikkie Mills is a freelance writer who's passionate about health, fitness, organic cooking and eating, and yoga. When not writing she loves traveling, hiking, and cooking. Find more from Mikkie on Google+.

Why Taking Care of Your Own Well-Being Helps Others

Our emotional well-being can benefit the people around us.

Friday, March 20, happened to be the International Day of Happiness, but people around the world feel anything but happy right now. Many of us are stressed and worried, wondering what this global pandemic means for our friends, families, and communities.

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About The Author

Greater Good Science Center's picture

This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And we have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.

The Best Way to Meet Unexpected Changes

“There is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change.” ~Meryl Streep

CHANGE IS HERE TO STAY

Once we accept that change is a constant in our lives, it becomes easier to surf along the surface of life. 

We get to see that riding along is safer and smarter than fighting since we can only at best influence the outcome of events—never fully control them. 

CONTROL YOURSELF

The only thing we can control is ourselves. Or in the first person, the only thing I can control is myself.

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About The Author

Andrew Mellen's picture

Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!

Andrew has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide to declutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter.

A sought-after authority on organizing and productivity, Andrew's addressed audiences from The Great British Business Show to TEDx. 

Corporate clients include American Express, Genentech, NetApp, Time, Inc., and the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security.

The media has dubbed Andrew “The Most Organized Man in America.” He writes a featured column called “Ask The Organizer” in Real Simple. In addition, he has written for and/or appeared in: The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, America Now, The Lisa Oz Show, The Nate Berkus Show, Oprah & Friends, Martha Stewart Living Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, CW11, HGTV, DIY Network, LiveWell Network, KnowMoreTV, Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Family Circle, USA Today, GQ, InStyle, All You, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Healthy UK, American Way, numerous trade and travel publications, and NPR.

He leads workshops and speaks internationally while maintaining a private practice working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, and non-profits to CEOs, award-winning filmmakers, and authors, as well as overwhelmed parents everywhere. 

In 2013, Andrew founded Unstuff U®, the world's first completely virtual personal organization training center, offering classes, workshops, and other online resources for businesses and individuals. 

Andrew is a member of the Experts Collective and serves on the faculty of the New York Open Center in New York City. He speaks frequently on the intersection of spirituality and organization at places including Omega Institute, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, All Saints Church, JCC Manhattan, and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, among others.

Previously, Andrew was an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and director and the former Artistic Director of Alice B. Theater (Seattle), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC), and Shuttle Theater Company (New York). He is a contributing author to Yes Is the Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales).

Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!® 

Find him on the web at andrewmellen.com.

Does the Warm Glow of Giving Ever Get Old?

New research suggests that spending money on ourselves gets old fast, but not spending money on others.

Imagine what it would be like to eat at your favorite restaurant every day. Going there would be exciting at first, but with time it would simply become part of your routine—and you might even get bored with it.

Tags: 

About The Author

Greater Good Science Center's picture

This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And we have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.

How to Be More Engaged at Work

Here are four steps to feel more energized and satisfied on the job.

Are you engaged at work?

If not, don’t worry—87 percent of people worldwide report not feeling engaged on the job. Many of us don’t expect work to be something we enjoy; it’s called work for a reason, right? We feel it is normal to “check out” during the day and head home without feeling fulfilled or accomplished.

Tags: 

About The Author

Greater Good Science Center's picture

This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.

Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the GGSC is unique in its commitment to both science and practice: Not only do we sponsor groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being, we help people apply this research to their personal and professional lives. Since 2001, we have been at the fore of a new scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life. And we have been without peer in our award-winning efforts to translate and disseminate this science to the public.

The Boys Aren't Being Nice to Me!

Why Being Right Doesn’t Always Mean Being Happy

Most people would rather be right than happy.

We all have theories about the world and then unconsciously act in ways that confirm the theories, even if it makes us miserable.

Jessica, a new client, brought me a three-inch stack of email correspondence from her two business associates saying she needed protection from them. She had funded a project and they weren’t giving her the “deliverables”. She wanted me to mediate.

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About The Author

Elizabeth B. Crook's picture

Elizabeth B. Crook is CEO of Orchard Advisors. For over twenty years, she has worked with CEO's and entrepreneurs to think and act strategically to grow their companies' bottom line and have more overall satisfaction. She has a gift for making sense of complex situations and mapping them so creative and practical approaches emerge. Clients speak of her insight, skill, authenticity, and willingness to ask the hard questions in a gentle way. 

She is also the bestselling author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next. Recent media features include ForbesFast CompanyDaily WorthPBS Next AvenueThrive Global, Conscious Company, and BetterBook Club.

A mother, grandmother, and ardent hiker, she lives on Music Row in Nashville. 

Make Your Job Juicier in 4 Easy Steps

Are there days you leave your office feeling like a wet T- shirt just out of the washer: heavy and useless? 

Would you like more days when you feel like a freshly ironed shirt?

Tags: 

About The Author

Elizabeth B. Crook's picture

Elizabeth B. Crook is CEO of Orchard Advisors. For over twenty years, she has worked with CEO's and entrepreneurs to think and act strategically to grow their companies' bottom line and have more overall satisfaction. She has a gift for making sense of complex situations and mapping them so creative and practical approaches emerge. Clients speak of her insight, skill, authenticity, and willingness to ask the hard questions in a gentle way. 

She is also the bestselling author of Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next. Recent media features include ForbesFast CompanyDaily WorthPBS Next AvenueThrive Global, Conscious Company, and BetterBook Club.

A mother, grandmother, and ardent hiker, she lives on Music Row in Nashville. 

Subscribe to RSS - happiness
Father and children laughing on bed
06/30/2021
A new study shows that doing kind things for others is an important path to happiness. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he assured Americans of their right to life,... read more
Group of four women posing for a selfie.
03/29/2021
People today are gravitating towards consuming less frivolous goods in favor of spending money only on items that truly, genuinely bring happiness and delight. People and families everywhere are... read more
Woman smiling at her reflection in the mirror
10/15/2020
Everyone has bad days, and it can be difficult to perk up and feel like yourself. Fortunately, there are several effective steps you can take to help yourself feel better and get back on track. 1... read more
Grandfather playing with grandson outside at park
06/04/2020
Looking to increase your happiness and boost your mood? It doesn’t take much to experience more happiness in your daily life. Here are five simple lifestyle changes that will make a huge positive... read more
Woman sitting on ground next to sign THIS IS MY HAPPY PLACE
03/30/2020
Our emotional well-being can benefit the people around us. Friday, March 20, happened to be the International Day of Happiness, but people around the world feel anything but happy right now. Many... read more
PLAN A binder in trash with PLAN B binder in foreground
03/17/2020
“There is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change.” ~Meryl Streep CHANGE IS HERE TO STAY Once we accept that change is a constant in our lives, it becomes... read more
Kneeling man gives red flower to woman
05/01/2019
New research suggests that spending money on ourselves gets old fast, but not spending money on others. Imagine what it would be like to eat at your favorite restaurant every day. Going there... read more
Smiling man at desk at work wit note on his forehead - BE HAPPY
12/10/2018
Here are four steps to feel more energized and satisfied on the job. Are you engaged at work? If not, don’t worry—87 percent of people worldwide report not feeling engaged on the job. Many... read more
Woman and man sitting in cafe upset and angry.
06/01/2018
Why Being Right Doesn’t Always Mean Being Happy Most people would rather be right than happy. We all have theories about the world and then unconsciously act in ways that confirm the theories,... read more

Pages

Father and children laughing on bed
06/30/2021
A new study shows that doing kind things for others is an important path to happiness. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he assured Americans of their right to life,... read more
Group of four women posing for a selfie.
03/29/2021
People today are gravitating towards consuming less frivolous goods in favor of spending money only on items that truly, genuinely bring happiness and delight. People and families everywhere are... read more
Woman smiling at her reflection in the mirror
10/15/2020
Everyone has bad days, and it can be difficult to perk up and feel like yourself. Fortunately, there are several effective steps you can take to help yourself feel better and get back on track. 1... read more
Grandfather playing with grandson outside at park
06/04/2020
Looking to increase your happiness and boost your mood? It doesn’t take much to experience more happiness in your daily life. Here are five simple lifestyle changes that will make a huge positive... read more
Woman sitting on ground next to sign THIS IS MY HAPPY PLACE
03/30/2020
Our emotional well-being can benefit the people around us. Friday, March 20, happened to be the International Day of Happiness, but people around the world feel anything but happy right now. Many... read more
PLAN A binder in trash with PLAN B binder in foreground
03/17/2020
“There is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change.” ~Meryl Streep CHANGE IS HERE TO STAY Once we accept that change is a constant in our lives, it becomes... read more
Kneeling man gives red flower to woman
05/01/2019
New research suggests that spending money on ourselves gets old fast, but not spending money on others. Imagine what it would be like to eat at your favorite restaurant every day. Going there... read more
Smiling man at desk at work wit note on his forehead - BE HAPPY
12/10/2018
Here are four steps to feel more energized and satisfied on the job. Are you engaged at work? If not, don’t worry—87 percent of people worldwide report not feeling engaged on the job. Many... read more
Woman and man sitting in cafe upset and angry.
06/01/2018
Why Being Right Doesn’t Always Mean Being Happy Most people would rather be right than happy. We all have theories about the world and then unconsciously act in ways that confirm the theories,... read more

Pages