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30.07.2018


Investing time & energy in others makes you happier

Investing time & energy in others makes you happier
If you want to make serious attempts to become happier, try to spend more energy and time on other people. This approach has more effect than working on yourself. This is what German psychologists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin are reporting soon in Psychological Science.

Study
The researchers used data collected in 2014-2015 in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study. They had data from 582 study participants who in 2014 had told what strategies they would follow to make themselves feel better. The researchers also had data from 596 study participants who did not have such plans.

In both 2014 and 2015, the researchers determined how content the study participants were with their lives.

Results
The implementation of strategies to become happier did not affect the life satisfaction of the study participants in 2015.


Investing time & energy in others makes you happier

Investing time & energy in others makes you happier



That changed when the researchers made a distinction between strategies that were social in nature - for example: 'helping others' - and strategies that were not - for example: 'stop smoking'. The first category of strategies increased life happiness, the other category did not.

How to implement a social strategy to make yourself feel better results in more happiness in life you see below. Part of the explanation is that spending time in the company of others makes you happier.


Investing time & energy in others makes you happier



Conclusion
"Beyond new insights into how people can potentially increase their happiness, our research underscores the crucial role that other people play in our lives", the researchers summarize.

"Social relationships and affiliations have powerful effects on health; loneliness and social isolation have even been associated with increased mortality. Our analyses further strengthen the notion that investments in social relationships are an important leverage point for achieving a healthy, long, and happy life."

Source:
Psychol Sci. 2018 May 1:956797618761660. doi: 10.1177/0956797618761660. [Epub ahead of print].

More:
Positive emotions extend life expectancy by ten years 13.06.2013
Optimists live longer 24.12.2011
Belief in a just world extends life expectancy 27.11.2009

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