Ever felt like giving presents exceeds the experience of receiving them? A recently published study might just tell you why. It found that people feel happier when they make others feel good, instead of trying to make themselves happy. Ironically. In several experiments, the researchers compared conditions and found greater subjective well-being among people that tried to make others happy. Even in conditions where people did not interact with others, like feeding a stranger’s parking meter, the same results were found.
This is not the first study to find these kinds of results. A 2008 study found that participants randomly assigned to spend money on others subsequently felt happier than participants assigned to spend the same amount of money on themselves.
Findings like this do make you wonder if our individual-focused society is the best way to lead a fulfilling life. Should we not put more emphasis on communities and kindness, instead of embracing personal development and achievement as the key to a successful life. Or at least decrease the guilt of not striving for success in terms of self-development. If not for altruistic motives, then for our own happiness after all. What can brands do to promote happiness through the pursuit of happiness for others?