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10 Ways to Pursue Happiness

        Science | Emotions

6
Help Others
Volunteering to help others can be as simple as walking someone's dog. Helping others with your time and money can bring you lots of satisfaction and happiness.
Volunteering to help others can be as simple as walking someone's dog. Helping others with your time and money can bring you lots of satisfaction and happiness.
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Giving to others can give you a feeling of purpose and enrich your life. Whether you donate time, money or services, it's not as important as the fact that you're helping others have a better life. A study from the University of British Columbia showed that spending money on others usually makes people happier than spending that money on themselves [source: BBC News]. Helping others doesn't have to be about big, life-changing events either. Walking the dog for a sick friend, visiting an elderly neighbor or helping a friend quit smoking can all increase your sense of well-being.

Tal Ben-Shahar, who teaches a course on happiness at Harvard, always asks his students to do five small acts of kindness a day and record how they feel afterward. Invariably, students report they're happier the day after, and that happiness sometimes lasts longer than 24 hours [source: NPR]. So open the door for an elderly person, give change to the homeless, say please and thank you and feed a stray dog. Small acts of kindness don't take much time or effort but can make a world of difference for both you and the recipients.