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Good News! Generous People Live Happier Lives

A new study proves that the act of giving is, in fact, good for you too.

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Photography by: Chelsea Cavanaugh

As if we needed another reason to be kind to one another, science just confirmed that generous people live happier lives. Translation: all our favorite personable, Martha-inspired pastimes — crafting, baking, hosting, etc. — are, quite literally, life-changing.

 

A recent study conducted by the University of Zurich found the interesting correlation between selflessness and happiness by examining the brains of 50 participants when faced with the same decision to either give money to a close friend or not. It would be a tough choice for anyone, and because researchers gauged participant happiness before the experiment, they were able to see just how much their feelings changed afterward. Spoiler: acting selfishly won't do anything to boost your mood.

 

[LEARN ABOUT: The Color Scientifically Proven to Bring Health and Happiness]
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Alas, those who opted to give a little — or even think about giving a little — showed signs of what behavioral economists refer to as "a warm glow."

 

"Promising to behave generously could be used as a strategy to reinforce the desired behavior, on the one hand, and to feel happier, on the other," Philippe Tobler from the University of Zurich's Department of Economics said in a press release. He and his colleague Ernst Fehr as well as a team of international researchers were behind the eye-opening study.

 

While the results are super intriguing, Philippe stresses that we don't need to turn ourselves into self-sacrificing martyrs in order to feel the happy-making results. "Just being a little more generous will suffice," he said.

 

Feeling inspired? Watch how to make someone feel special with their own set of DIY birthday candles atop a freshly-baked cake:

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