The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Give or Receive: What Makes Us Happier


Source: Web MD

We feel happy when we are given gifts or pleasant and necessary services. But at the same time, we feel delight and satisfaction when we do something for other people. When is the level of happiness higher? Scientists from Switzerland have found the answer to this question, writes Web MD.

Photo: Shutterstock

The experts conducted a series of studies using brain scanners to track activity in those areas that are responsible for socialization, decision making and happiness. It turned out that even small manifestations of generosity or charity led to changes in the brain that helped people feel happier.

The study involved 50 volunteers. Each was given 25 Swiss francs (a little over 26 US dollars) per week for a month. Half of the group had to spend money on others (treats, gifts), the second - on themselves. Everyone was asked how happy he feels. At the same time they controlled the state of their brain.

The study's author, neurophysiologist Philip Tobler says: "Perhaps spending money on others, rather than on yourself, is an alternative path to human happiness." Why is the pattern exactly like this? In response to this question, Tobler repeats the popular wisdom: "What you give is what you receive."

Helping others, according to the expert, can improve relationships with people, a good deed moves along the chain, and someone from the group covered can help you too. In any case, it is useful for the giver in terms of brain function and the feeling of happiness, even if he receives nothing in return.

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