Happiness in the moment

While our moment-to-moment happiness depends on how we are treated by others, our larger sense of purpose in life is our own doing.

There was a recent study about every day morality – see report on it at: http://www.yourmorals.org/blog/2014/09/some-good-news-about-everyday-moral-life/

What they found is that people receive and commit more moral acts than immoral acts, but we are twice as likely to hear about immoral acts. Something we all know but it’s nice to have it validated by actual data.

The other big finding is that if you are a recipient of a moral act, you are more likely to act morally yourself within the next hour.  This is something the scientists call “moral contagion.” In other words, being kind encourages more kindness in the world.

What has this got to do with happiness?  Well, it turns out that being treated morally increases our happiness. No surprise there. But when you combine this with acting morally encouraging more moral behavior, you start to see the scientific underpinnings of the golden rule. You behave well because it encourages other people to behave well and when other people behave well towards you, it makes you feel happy.

What is really interesting is people who behave morally experience a big increase in their sense of purpose in life. Having a larger sense of purpose in your life not only feels good, it reduces stress improves your health and increases your lifespan. (see: http://magazine.ucla.edu/exclusives/sense-of-purpose-makes-you-happy-and-healthy/)

Apparently science backs up the Humanist approach to life. Be a good person, help other people be good too.

For more read my book: The Humanist Approach to Happiness: http://happiness.jen-hancock.com/ 


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