Want to Be Happy? Stop Being So Cheap!

Start giving your money and time away: New research shows you’ll be happier for it. Americans who describe themselves as “very happy” volunteer an average of 5.8 hours per month. Those who are “unhappy”? Just 0.6 hours. This is just one of the findings in The Paradox of Generosity, a new book by sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson presenting the findings of the Science of Generosity Intiative at Notre Dame. Researchers for the initiative surveyed 2,000 individuals over a five-year period. They interviewed and tracked the spending habits and lifestyles of 40 families from different classes and races in 12 states, even accompanying some to the grocery store.
The result is among the most comprehensive studies of Americans’ giving habits ever conducted. Other findings include lower depression rates among Americans who donate more than 10 percent of their incomes (41 percent say they rarely or never experience depression versus 32 percent for everyone else.) And giving away money isn’t the only way to reap the psychological rewards of generosity: Americans who are very giving in relationships—being emotionally available and hospitable—are much more likely to be in excellent health (48 percent) than those who are not (31 percent).

Read the full article here.  

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