Why Doing Good Makes You Happy: The “Do Good, Feel Good Theory” Explained
Have you ever heard of the so-called “do-good-feel-good phenomenon?” If not, here’s how it works.
When you do something good, you feel happier. A 2019 study revealed that performing acts of kindness – even to strangers – boosts happiness and well-being.
So, let’s say, you help an elderly cross the street. There’s a part of you that feels genuinely happy because you know that you did an act of kindness to someone. And science calls this feeling the “happiness high.”
So when you feel incredible because of altruism, you are more likely to do a selfless act to get that “happiness high” again.
It’s basically like a cycle. This hit of “feeling good” is what pushes you to continue making more positive habits. A study published in 2013 showed that helping others increases life-expectancy due to reduced stress.
In other words, the more stress-free you are, the longer you live. And less stress means you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good.
And the cycle goes on and on.
Moreover, doing great stuff, somehow, makes you feel better about yourself. According to the Mental Health Foundation, helping others is actually beneficial for your own mental health and well-being. Altruism can reduce stress, improve your emotional state, and even benefit your physical health. Thus, you’ll do more charitable acts again to raise your self-esteem.
Unfortunately, this cycle also works the other way around.
Have you ever noticed that when you do something bad, you feel terrible? And when you feel awful, you are more likely to do something horrible to the people that surround you.
This negativity, unfortunately, affects everyone. Thus, unhappy people will – intentionally or not – continue to do more negative behaviors. So why continue to spread negativity to the world when you can spread positive vibes instead?
Here are some examples of fantastic things you can do so you can finally feel good and spread happiness to the people around you.
- Bring good vibes to your office by sending a gratitude email to your coworkers who deserve more recognition.
- Surprise your neighbor with freshly baked cookies or any goodies.
- Compliment people. It can brighten someone’s day.
- Donate food, clothing, or cash to the homeless.
- Volunteer in soup kitchens.
- Support medical research and help future generations have a better world by donating your body to science. Apart from being a selfless act, body donation also allows you to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit mankind.
These are only a few examples of random acts of kindness that can make you feel good and make other people happy as well. Let the chain of happiness start with you!
About The Author
As a nurse, Franchette Agatha Jardin firmly believes in the importance of understanding the human body and the advancement of science. She writes about what people can do for the betterment of the world and how everyone can be part of something great.