Once again science is proving what the church has been teaching all along.
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In this case, scientists have found that giving money away increases happiness.
In a survey of 630 Americans, they found that those who spent more on others reported greater happiness. Having more money did not make you happier; but giving money away did.
This result was confirmed in a smaller study of employees who received bonuses ranging from $3,000 to $8,000. Regardless of the size of their bonus, employees who gave gifts to others or donated to charity were happier than those who hadn't.
And it turns out that even $5 is enough to buy some happiness - if you give it away. In an experiment, the researchers gave participants $5 or $20 and told them to spend the money that day. But one group were told to spend the money on themselves, and the other group to spend the money on others. Again, those who spent the money on others were happier.
My personal guess is that the long term happiness benefit comes from getting off the high stress roller coaster of over-working-to-earn-more-to-spend-more-and-enjoying-less.
Work less; earn less; spend less; owe less; play more; give more. That's the secret to happiness. Why not take Sunday off; come to church; get grounded in your core values again; and give a little for others. You'll be better off - and happier. No kidding.