The start of 2012 gives us all the opportunity to be look at our behaviour and our level of generosity. A workshop I attended years ago had an impact on me because it taught that being generous to others is essential to us being happy and was coined ‘Mitzvah Therapy’.
It is based on being helpful to others and that this inadvertently leads us down a path to become enriched and fulfilled ourselves. It also has the added benefit of lowering anxiety and depression, as well as improving our over all happiness. I call this ‘being generous of spirit’, just doing things for others out of the goodness of our heart. Even marriages and relationships benefit from this approach with couples reporting they were five times more likely to say the marriage was “very happy”, because of high amounts of generosity.
There is research that believes that this altruism has a foundation in human evolution and is wired into our survival.
Perhaps it would be helpful to imagine the person we have decided to be generous to, is actually a close relative. I do know that the more ‘generous of spirit’ I have become the happier I am as a person. I am interested in other peoples experiences, so please let me know what priority ‘Mitzvah Therapy’ is going to play for you in 2012.