I was hoping you could pick one event in your day for fun and one for philanthropy. For me, speaking to my friends while playing video games is fun, and helping any friend or family member is what I would consider philanthropic. I find that helping someone out makes me feel so much happier than having fun at that moment. Being altruistic ends up having far more long term benefits than having a source of entertainment for a few hours. I relate to this idea exceptionally well as I find that being the reason that someone laughs or smiles allow me to fall asleep at night. Although, I would argue that both are necessary to have an enjoyable life as you need a wide variety of things to create positive emotions throughout your day.
I would argue that the reason for this is empathy. Most people are brought up with values of compassion. You can see this empathetic feeling when someones look sad, lonely, or is crying – you want to help. Even daily, people have this high expectation that people always have to be there to help them when they are sad and to prevent them from being lonely. No one can be with you every step of the way, but having people to lean on is always beneficial. People need to be more aware that helping others has a butterfly effect that makes themselves feel better, improves their community, and ensures that everyone can smile as they reflect on the events throughout their day.
If we resort back to the idea of “positivity resonance” and how experiencing positive emotions with other people intensifies that benefits from these emotions, we can see why having fun and helping others results in you feeling better. Although, studies have shown that doing something helpful for another person has better impacts and results in your being a better listening, having better connections with people, and having improved wellbeing. I encourage all of you to be altruistic and see how it makes you feel compared to having fun. Each day, please reflect on the different events and classify them as fun and philanthropic. Being more aware of the decisions and actions you make daily will force you to be more easygoing when it comes to helping others.
Helping others plays into the idea of having a meaning or purpose in the PERMA theory. Your goal will be to help your community and play a role in a more substantial identity instead of solely being selfish and not thinking about others. Even if you help one person in the grocery market, you are working towards enhancing your wellbeing. It is easy to accomplish because it takes a short amount of time to help someone, and it is probably the easiest thing to make you experience and value more positive emotions. My desire to help others fuels displays how impactful altruism has been in my life. When I am feeling down, I can think about how something I completed today can be beneficial for at least one person, which gives me satisfaction.
In an article by Thrive Global called “Why Science Says Helping Others Makes Us Happier,” they explain the importance of helping others. They discuss a phenomenon called “Helper’s High,” which is a “…psychological theory being that giving [acts of kindness] produce a nature mild version of a morphine high.” The feeling of energy comes from hormones that result in more positive emotions throughout your body and accounts for that feeling of energizing that occurs once you help somebody. Since humans have generosity infused into them from educational practices today, philanthropy is the easiest thing to improve your overall lifestyle.
I recommend taking some time out of your day to help those around you and help people that you have never met before. I promise you that the knowledge that you made someone’s day will ensure your happiness can overcome various negative emotions in your daily life. Although, remember that negative emotions are required because it shows you where growth is needed, so do not be scared if they ever come around. My experiences have shown that having the purpose of showing compassion for others can turn each day to something memorable.