Wellbeing Matters - Helping others makes us Happy
There is a huge amount of love and support for Ukrainians at the moment. Not just in the UK, but across Europe and the world. How do I know? Because of the outpouring of efforts by people to provide food and shelter and all manner of essentials.
I've seen this in Poland. I've seen it in Britain. I've seen it in Australia and in the US. It's a real testament to everyday people, not just politicians, that we know war is wrong and people need love, not hate.
This last week, lip service has taken a back seat. Action has stood up and made itself known. It is refreshing, but terrible that it takes horrible things for this to happen. Regardless, the swell of human compassion is almost overwhelming at times.
There is something powerful in doing things altruistically. It is easy to forget this in modern life, but many people still make it a habit. There are excuses to make, and I myself do it. But, fundamentally, giving to others and being part of something bigger, is what humans seem engineered to do.
It makes sense. In ancient times, it was difficult for individuals to survive. Working as part of a group meant we had to share, but were more likely to have something to share. Looking after others, even when we did not directly benefit in the long term was good for us. Having long-term goals, rather than short, selfish ones, also was good for long term survival or even prosperity.
Two of the 'ten keys to a happier life' are these - doing things for others, and, being part of something bigger. I'm not saying we only want to help those in Ukraine because it makes us happy, but it does explain why we might be drawn to it and why it makes us feel good. And when we feel good, we are more likely to do kind things; more likely to attend to some of the other key steps, such as connect with people, or have goals to look forward to.
I love the fact that being a good person can make us happier. And being happier can make us goodier (if you'll excuse the poor English)!
Take a look at Action for Happiness if you never have before and to download a Mindful March calendar.