People need people to be happy

Reach out, touch and be happy  >
hands 2Sorry to mention it, but it is Monday. But before you trudge head down back to work, latch onto a major high from the weekend – the stonking feel-good success of ‘Children in Need‘.

It doesn’t matter if you donated or not, just watching the stories of hope, generosity and courage lifted the heaviest hearts.

The message that came across was that people need people. Connections within our communities can be just as important as our close relationships, for our happiness and helping others is a sure fire way of helping ourselves.

Science tells us that giving to others stimulates areas in the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. Altruistic behaviour releases endorphins in the brain increasing our own happiness as well as the people we help. Which means there are knock-on effects, the No1 being that kindness is contagious!

In fact, new research in the field of neuroscience has confirmed that we are hard-wired for positivity, compassion and love. This study even suggests that supporting others extends life expectancy, with communities and societies flourishing when people look out for each other. And the most unsettling finding of all is that giving money away tends to make people happier than spending it on themselves.

This may all sound inspiring, but how might you put it into practice?  If you want to be happy there are two tried and tested courses of action – phone Tonic (!) or start considering your well-being as part of the wider community and start volunteering or joining a community group.hands 9

Because the bottom line is that contributing to your community can bring great rewards and increase your happiness in so many different ways. Even a simple act of kindness such as regularly visiting a housebound neighbour for a chat will benefit both parties. So cut out your daily session with one of our therapists and instead reach out and touch the world – it needs your help.

13 thoughts on “People need people to be happy

  1. Dr George Myers says:

    Make no mistake, relationships create psychological space so that we can explore and learn. When we feel safe and supported, we don’t have to narrow in on survival tasks like responding to danger or finding our next meal. We are able to explore our world, which builds resources for times of stress and adversity. Striving to be insular is a fast track to insanity

    • A bit strong, but I do concede we need each other. Certainly our kids really do need other people to learn how to recognise emotions, and dare I say to some degree so do we all. We all have needs for each other.

  2. You DON’T need others. But having people in your life adds spice and variety. Others simply make your life more interesting. These ‘people’ can be the recipients of the love that you can give and in turn be sources of love. They help us learn and grow and we can help others do the same. Open hearted and open minded people can be there when we need to talk, bounce around ideas, solve problems, make tricky decisions and help us overcome challenges. Working together with others, we can be creative and create beautiful things – a family, a group of friends, a community, and a society.
    Of course, you could cut yourself off from others, avoid any pain and suffering that they may inflict, but that comes with very high personal cost.

  3. it’s better to feel both love and pain than to feel nothing at all
    we all need people
    we need their hugs and advice and voices and presence
    most of all we need their love.

  4. Wally (Yeovil) says:

    It’s a no brainer – people need other people. The truth is none of us can survive alone. Who even wants to be alone with their problems? Other people feel how you feel. Other people are where you are and even more have been where you are. They have known the darkness, too. They have felt alone. And it’s not enough to simply know you’re not alone. The journey forward requires other people. Getting help for depression or addiction should be no different. If you need help, it’s OK to ask for it.

  5. Banter-09 says:

    If you are married, tell your partner how much you appreciate them. If you are not married, tell a friend how much you appreciate them. Weall want to be wanted.

  6. Sandra Kenny says:

    Happiness is intertwined with the well-being of our local community. Being connected in a community ensures that we feel like we belong and this has a major impact on our happiness, that of our family, and the whole community. I know you don’t like advertising but if your Bloggers want to be inspired to act, they should check out this web site…

    • Petra Ford-Howard says:

      Nice quote. And there is plenty of research to support this philosophy; it all concludes that spending money on others or giving money to charity leads to the greatest happiness. But … oh, yes there is always a but! … you will feel happier if you give to a charity via a friend, relative or social connection rather than simply making an anonymous donation to a worthy cause. This is why charities are trying to maximise donations by encouraging their fundraisers to build on their social connections.

      • Larry (Dundee) says:

        You bet. If you give to charities or buy gifts for others you will be more content than your mates who squander all their money on themselves. It might be painful, but try it out and you will be surprised how you will feel. In fact, the act of giving is more powerful than exercise.
        Giving once might make a person happy for a day, but if it becomes a way of living, then it could make a lasting difference.

        • joke-man2 says:

          sounds like a great experiment
          to ensure it can be prove,n can i give everyone my bank details – that way both their feelings and mine (as the recipient) can be tested together
          i’m prepared to make this sacrifice in the name of science

  7. Georgie-girl says:

    Giving is a science which has been subject to extensive research. There is no doubt at all making donations – and most churches advocate 10% of income – lowers depression rates. And giving away money is not the only way to reap the psychological rewards of generosity … if you are in a ‘giving relationship’ you will live longer and have greater chance of enjoying excellent health.

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