Do Good Feel Good: Why Doing Good Makes You Happy

Do Good Feel Good Theory

Have you ever experienced the do good feel good phenomenon? When you do habits you’re proud of, you feel happier. For example, when you help others, you feel a helper’s high – happy, proud, excited. And because you feel good, the cycle continues. Your happiness makes you want to do even more good.

But, when you are engaged in bad behavior, you feel kind of lousy. And then this bad mood simply makes you wind up doing even more negative behavior.

Guess what? A good way to snap out of this negative cycle is to do good for someone else – so you can tap into what researchers call:

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.

Researchers call this: helper’s high

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

The Do Good, Feel Good Phenomenon works like this…

  • When someone does something good for someone, they get a “happiness high” or what researchers call “helper’s high.”  (Note: I write about this more here. )
  • This hit of feeling happier because you did something 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!

Do Good Feel Good Why Doing Good Makes You Happy And Bad Behavior Makes You SadUnfortunately this Do Good Feel Good 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.

Down, down, down their bad mood, bad habit spiral keeps going.

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

So, watch out for those downward spirals!

Get yourself hooked on doing good and aimed in an upward spiral instead.

In summary: A big secret to happiness is doing lots of actions you are proud of.

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

do good feel good phenomenon

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

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