Why being happy for others makes you happy too

The police officer shined his lights onto my car and turned on his sirens.

I thought to myself, “Oh crap, I am in big trouble.” I felt myself turning red and my heart was pumping.

I got a ticket and was slapped with a big fine.

As I drove into my driveway, I cried because I was having such a bad week.

I entered my house, threw myself onto the couch and was in a sour mood. I received a message from a friend telling me that she just got a once in a lifetime job offer and this was something she had been waiting for all her life.

Normally, a person would ignore the message when they’re not feeling it, but not me. I urged her to tell me more about it and as she did I felt myself feeling so much better and happier.

How is that? Read on and I will explain why.

Feeling happy for others can make you happy

According to Toni Bernhard J.D, author of Turning Straw Into Gold, she shared her story about the jealousy she felt when her husband was able to see their granddaughter and she couldn’t due to a chronic illness. She came up with two reasons for feeling happiness for others: self-compassion and joy.

“By putting self-compassion and joy for others together, not only can you feel happy for other people, but that good feeling, in turn, can make you happy too. A few years ago, I not only felt envious of one of my husband’s trips to see Malia, I was downright resentful. Envy arises when you want what others have or can do. Resentment is also present if you believe you’re not getting it because of some perceived injustice in the world.”

You and I probably have been told by someone, “You should smile a little more, it will make you feel better.” Turns out that it’s true. A forced smile has been shown to reduce stress and put us a great mood. This is the same with feeling happy for others even if you’re faking it. And I say, fake it until you make it. If you’re having trouble Bernhard says it is perfectly normal to feel that way.

“Yes, at first, I had to pretend that I was happy for them, but that’s okay. It didn’t take long for that pretending to turn into genuine joy for the two of them. And before long, I was feeling happy myself at the thought that Malia was finally getting to see a musical that was such an important part of my life.”

Helping others is good for you

When I was attending university, there was a competition for local writers to compete for a chance to be publish and the English class that I was in was given the opportunity to submit our stories.

One of my classmates was struggling with his writing technique and while others were up and writing in no time, he was frustrated and saddened that he couldn’t do the same. I stepped in and helped.

I worked on my story while he worked on his. My friends were asking me what the hell was I thinking assisting another writer in a competition, especially one that obviously “didn’t have no talent.”

I didn’t listen to them. Why? Studies have shown that helping others is really good for you, “voluntary behavior intended to benefit another-can boost happiness.”

In the end, he won the competition, was published and awarded the $500 prize while my story came in third. I wasn’t jealous, I wasn’t disappointed. I was happy not only for him but for myself.

Being salty is wasted energy

You, me, friends, co-workers, or even grandma and grandpa are on Facebook. You’re probably reading this article when you clicked on it while scrolling through your newsfeed. Recent research has shown that more time logged onto social media is a correlation with depressive symptoms because we’re so concern with comparing ourselves with other people.

Want to start feeling happy? Stop being jelly. It’s wasted energy.

Instead of complaining that so and so have this and that, why can’t you work for it yourself? Why can’t you get that dream job? Why can’t you travel? Why can’t you have money like the person you’re jealous of?

We’re all made of energy and being jealous of someone not only lower your chances of happiness it also decreases your vibration making you feel more depressed and crappy.

Don’t worry, be happy

After reading this article, go congratulate someone on their success and I promise you that not only you will make someone’s day but you too will feel happy and your mood will dramatically change over time the more you do this.

You go on ahead with it, I got a ticket to pay. 😉

You can read more of my work at faroutwisdom.com.

Boonn Hem

Boonn Hem

Although I may feel alienated from society and have a pessimistic view on modern civilization, I do support humanism and our ability to adapt to changes and differences.

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