The Surprising Power of Community

During our September dive into relationships and happiness we’ve learned that strong relationships make us happier.

We also know that helping others makes us happy.

This makes sense to the extent that helping people we know strengthens our relationships with them.

One of the mysteries, though, is why helping strangers makes us happier. It doesn’t strengthen our relationships, because we may never see those people again or we may be doing our good deeds anonymously. In the case of some charities we may not even be able to identify the specific people that we are helping. And yet, we still are happier.

One possible solution is that helping others, even others that we don’t know, makes us feel like part of a larger community. Continue reading “The Surprising Power of Community”

The Meaning of Life

We’ve spent the month of April around here exploring the science of happiness.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in a short period of time. (A Tuesday/Thursday schedule only produces eight articles in April!)

To close out the month, I’d like to touch on a light and simple topic: the meaning of life.

Okay, maybe not THE meaning of life. I don’t think I’m quite qualified to definitively comment on that. But the importance of having SOME meaning in your life. Continue reading “The Meaning of Life”