Have you heard that helping others can increase your happiness?
The magic number seems to be 100 hours per year, which amounts to about 2 hours per week. Who knew that helping others could enrich our own lives?
Are you volunteering or helping someone other than your immediate family? If so, how much time do you spend being of service?
This has been a question I’ve been noodling on for awhile and am using as a guide as I’m always trying to maximize the Happy Hours in my days.
When I felt like everything was ok in my life and still felt like I was missing something, it was Susanne who asked me how I was being of service and how much time I was dedicating to this part of life. She loves to help youth and seniors and spends a fair part of each week helping others and she told me how helping others really made her happy. Her face would light up when she’d share stories with me. She inspired me to think about how I was spending my time.
I belong to a Christian’s women’s group that runs a thrift shop. All proceeds from sales goes into an endowment fund, from which scholarships are given to women pursuing higher education goals. I love being part of this volunteer organization and believe in the mission. I started volunteering one day per week for an hour or two, helping out with donations. I love going to the shop and seeing the ladies who work there regularly, and feeling appreciated for my little Happy Hour of service.
Recently I joined the board of directors, who make decisions about running the store. I have been working on a strategic change project that has been taking a lot more than 2 hours per week. I love being involved and using my business background and interest in change management to help lead the change and “working” with a team. As I share my time, I feel helpful and happy to be making a difference. I think this is an example of how helping others can actually make you happy. I feel thankful for the relationships I am building and for the difference I am making. Happy Hours well spent.
Life is good.