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Happiness Tip: Flex Your Generosity Muscle

Do something generous this week, and stretch if you can. Be more generous than usual.

Research is clear that giving to others improves our health and well-being. When we are generous, our outlook on life changes, and ironically, we begin to “perceive others more positively,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky in this video from our Science of a Meaningful Life series.

Take action: Find someone or something to which you can give generously today. Give your time, lend your expertise, or make a financial contribution to a cause that needs your support. You’ll be happier for it!

Join the discussion: Do you feel fulfilled when you give of your time or resources? Share in the comments.


  1. Monique says:

    I honestly believe that Happiness is all about making others happy and lightening their burden in whichever way possible. Making others happy is the key to life’s fulfillment.

  2. Mary Ellen Riley says:

    This is true for me 99% of the time. I volunteer at my son’s school, work 80+ hours on our community musical production, play piano for church, teach Sunday school and try to participate in serving throughout the community when I can. But, right now is the 1% time. I feel that when I ask for help, no one is there after all I do. My husband is going in for back surgery and everyone wants to “help” only when it is convenient. When people ask for donations or help through email or facebook, I want to scream because I take it personally. I take it as – you aren’t giving enough. Come on. But like I said, most of the time it does make me happier. During extreme stressful times, it makes me weary.

  3. marni rivera says:

    I have always had a special spot in my heart for people that have spent many years on this
    earth. I share the feeling of joy I get from being around elders with mychildren. We have two women who livenear us that are both widowers. I have the children take them hand – made cards or brownies that we just baked. The kids are excited to do something kind andin return receive a chocolate bar for their delivers. I love watching them from
    the front door skipping across the street in there jammies with some fresh
    baked muffins in the morning.

    I encourage you to take a minute out of your busy lives and do something special
    for an older member in your neighborhood. The rewards are priceless. Marni Rivera

  4. donna says:

    Although it’s meant having to give up a family vacation, not being able to buy things we want but don’t need, and digging into my retirement money, I’ve been financially supporting my brother and his son for eight months. It was an easy decision back then and not only does it make me happy to know I can be helpful in a crisis situation, the ripple effect has been profound. I could write a novel about it…and one day I might!

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