Why Doing Good Makes You Happy: The “Do Good Feel Good” Theory

Do Good Feel Good Theory

Have you ever noticed that when you do good you feel happier.

Plus, when you are engaged in bad behavior, you feel kind of lousy?

Researchers have noticed this pattern. They even have a fancy name for this phenomenon: 

“The Do Good, Feel Good Phenomenon.”

Researchers have discovered that the more people do acts of altruism, the higher they raise their self-esteem. And thereby the higher they also raise their happiness.

(Scroll down for a poster I designed – which sums up this do good and feel good philosophy!)

The “Do Good, Feel Good Phenomenon” works like this…

  • When someone does something good for someone, they get a “happiness high.” (Note: I write about this more here. Researchers also call it “helper’s high.”)
  • This hit of “feeling good” makes altruistic people want to continue to do more positive, loving habits.
  • By doing this good stuff, these people then continue to feel even better about themselves.
  • By feeling better about themselves, this then makes these people want to continue to do even more acts of altruism.
  • And onward the upward cycle goes!

Why Doing Good Makes You Happy And Bad Behavior Makes You SadUnfortunately this cycle also works in the opposite direction.

  • The unhappy can become unhappier by indulging in negative behaviors.
  • When people do negative actions they then lower their self esteem.
  • When people lower their self esteem, they feel more unhappy.
  • As a result of this unhappiness, these people then want to do more negative behaviors.
  • When people do more negative habits, they further lower their self esteem, which then further makes them want to do negative behaviors – and soon they find themselves on a downward spiral.

Doing Good feel good phenomenonDown, down, down their mood spiral goes.

And down, down, down the results for their life goes.

So, watch out for those downward spirals!

Get yourself hooked on an upward spiral instead.

Below is an inspirational quote poster I designed – which sums up this upward spiral philosophy.

salmansohn do good feel good phenomenon

Do good,  feel good. Feel good, do good. Keep the cycle going. – Karen Salmansohn

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