communities that seem out of our control. The good news is, you do have control over your own happiness. It just takes a bit of focused attention and mindfulness.
We all know that doing something nice for someone makes us feel good, right? Researchers have discovered that even THINKING about doing something generous has real significant mood-boosting benefits in the brain.
In a published study, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they’d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew.
The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they’d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making.
Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over. *
As we roll into this week of Thanksgiving – there are many ways to actually be generous if you have the means to do so. Donate to a food bank or homeless, sponsor a family in need, donate blood, write a thank you note to a healthcare worker.
How does Generosity show up in your business plan?
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*excerpts on experiement taken from TIME article BY AMANDA MACMILLAN