“Rivers don’t drink their own waters. Trees don’t eat their own fruit. The sun does not shine for itself. And the flowers do not exhale their fragrances for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. Life is good when you are happy, but life is much better when others are happy because of you!(Pope Francis)

We love to help others

It’s in our DNA. We are social animals and were designed to be in a group, take care of the family, the community, work in a team…

There may be different reasons that lead us to help others. Win their respect, their admiration, make friends, expect reciprocity … But another hypothesis has been revealed through studies carried out on the subject: what if we help others just because it makes us happy?

Indeed, this idea is completely contrary to the dominant thought which tends to imagine that generous behavior represents a cost for the individual: instead of spending my resources on myself, I am spending it on someone else, so I am losing.

Studies by international teams of neurobiologists (universities of Lubeck, Chicago and Zurich) have shown that there is a relationship between generosity and happiness that is seen in behavior, but also in the brain. An act of generosity or even a simple intention to generosity increases the activity of areas of the brain related to well-being.

No one can sincerely help others without helping themselves: it is one of the best rewards in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The great American philosopher said almost 2 centuries ago.

What if helping others was the best way to help yourself ? Studies carried out in France have looked at the effects of volunteering. It has been shown that people who volunteer overall have a better quality of life, better self-esteem and self-confidence. The study group suffered less from depression and had better social and communication skills than the others.

The meaning of life

It is essential for us humans to believe that our life has a meaning, to feel useful and to feel valued for what we do or for who we are.

Seeing someone improve their condition, seeing them gain self-confidence, seeing them smile again after a difficult event is a very pleasant feeling. Being able to tell ourselves that we have contributed to this in one way or another makes us feel valued, gives meaning to our life. Feeling useless or worthless generates bitterness, sadness and boredom. The person in this case wears out and fades as when they feel useful, they grow up developing their own talents.

And you, what do you think of this subject? Please feel free to share your opinion or experience on our Facebook page or in the comments.