“The surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others”
Martin Luther King Jr.
We all have a baseline level of happiness that we operate on as we routinely go about our lives.
This is referred to as our Happiness set point.
Our level of happiness changes regularly in response to life events and how we habituate to them; then normally will return to our set point. Other more drastic life events, such as sudden loss, can somewhat effect our ability to feel happy permanently.
However, this does not need to be the end of our happiness forever. There is a way of increasing our baseline of happiness to a higher, more permanent level.
Normally, as humans, we think that in order to feel happy we need to gain something — a better job, money, assets, relationships etc. This is not true. The value we create for others is of the highest value to our happiness.
So how do we increase our happiness set point? It’s simple, by helping others.
According to a study by Dr. Alex Lickerman M.D. “Happiness in this World”, published in Psychology Today “the trait most strongly associated with long-term increases in life satisfaction is, in fact, a persistent commitment to pursuing altruistic goals”. In other words, the more time we spend focused on helping others, the happier we will become.
Advanced wealth is not the answer, we need to increase our value for others which in turn builds our self worth , self-esteem and sense of life purpose.
A life with a purpose of good intent is a recipe for a happy life.
So as hard as it is, no matter how counter-intuitive it seems when you are down, the best thing you can do for yourself is to autonomously help someone else.
You don’t have to build them a house or fix their life, you may just sit and listen to them, make them feel heard and respected. Perhaps some volunteer work is your thing? Whatever it is there is always a chance to help someone else which in turn helps you and makes this world just a little more beautiful. You won’t receive happiness through recognition from others, this is short lived,you will find it in your increased self worth. Be selfless, love hard and be kind.
You will still have ups and downs but in time your baseline happiness is sure to improve.
Take care of each other.