(WXYZ) – International researchers wanted to know how our minds responded to giving.
They told group participants they’d receive money that needed to be spent. Half of the participants planned to spend it on themselves, while the other half planned to give it away. Activity in three specific areas of the participant’s brain were monitored via MRI scans.
Those who just thought of giving generously triggered a response in a part of the brain associated with happiness.
The researchers found it didn’t matter how generous you were.
Even just giving a little made the participants happier when compared with those who gave only to themselves. Many of you are looking for ways to bring more happiness into your lives, so here are my prescriptions;
1. Focus on how you can help others. It can be something simple like paying for someone’s coffee in the line behind you.
2. Try volunteering. It can also boost your mental health and well-being in addition to helping someone else.
3. Keep a journal and write what you’re grateful for. Over time, you’ll feel more optimistic and satisfied with life.
4. It’s important to find your purpose in life. It will not only make you happier, but you’ll live longer too.
Happiness can certainly be learned.
You can start by expressing gratitude for little things like your health, home, job, family, and friends. Try to focus on what went right instead of what went wrong. Also, live in the now, switch negative thoughts to positive ones, and always look for opportunities to celebrate small successes in your everyday life.
Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.