When people are less focused on self and the problems of the self, there is a kind of alleviation of stress. There’s nothing like reaching out and contributing to the lives of others to give a person, first of all a sense of significance and purpose. The idea of the helper’s high has been around since the early 1990’s. Allen Lukes, a psychologist, had individuals going out and helping others in various ways, at low thresholds, a couple of hours of activity at a soup kitchen or helping down the block or whatever it might be. And about half of the individuals, and this is a kind of half full/half empty paradigm, reported a feeling of elation; a kind of emotional buoyancy, if you will. Forty-three percent reported a sense of warmth and tranquility. Certainly many of them reported a sense of significance and meaning in life. And interestingly, even 13 percent said they felt an alleviation of chronic aches and pains.
If you have 2:48m you can check it all here: http://bigthink.com/ideas/38045
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There are Free Lunches: Behavioral Clues to Live Happy in the Economic World is a blog that intends to present updated and relevant information about the "hidden" and only recently uncovered dimensions of the economic science: the behavioral factors. With this blog we intend to promote in Europe and in the rest of the World, the top research articles and perspectives on behavioral economics, decision making, consumer behavior, and general behavioral science. We aim to be followed by journalists, academics, managers, civil servants, and everyone who wishes to improve their daily interaction with the economic world and consequently, their lives' happiness.