Guest Post by Courtney Blair
There was a time in my life when all of my free time revolved around making myself happy. Let me tell you, those were some unhappy times.
Since starting a family, I have dedicated most of my time to them, keeping their needs met and satisfied.
I only get a few precious moments to myself per day to get my own needs met, and most of the time I have to schedule it, but I’ve truly never been happier.
Why is that?
You’d think that when I had all the time in the world to ensure that my own needs were met, that it would have meant unlimited happiness because I never had to “go without” or stifle my wants or desires. But that was definitely not the case.
According to a study published by the journal Emotion, people get more satisfaction out of doing acts of kindness for others, rather than nice things for themselves.
An article titled A Totally Innocent Way To Feel Happier published by PsyBlog quotes the study author saying: When it comes to the pursuit of happiness, popular culture encourages a focus on oneself. By contrast, substantial evidence suggests that what consistently makes people happy is focusing pro-socially on others. The results of this study contribute to a growing literature supporting the benefits of prosocial behavior and challenge the popular perception that focusing on oneself is an optimal strategy to boost one’s mood. People striving for happiness may be tempted to treat themselves. Our results, however, suggest that they may be more successful if they opt to treat someone else instead.
It’s true that we live in a self-centered society, and people are commonly searching for happiness through acts of selfishness and vanity. Though it is nice to treat yourself every so often, that may not at all be where long-term satisfaction with life comes from.
Of course, there may be substantial debate to this theory. What do you think?