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Study says generosity is the key to happy life. So start having a big heart!

A mere promise to be generous in life can be helpful enough to trigger happiness in your life.
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Written by: India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi July 12, 2017 17:28 IST

Everyone wishes to live a happy life. But is there a shortcut to it? Is there a way which can ensure a joyful life? A recent study has answered your questions. A mere promise to be generous in life can be helpful enough to trigger happiness in your life. When you’re being generous, a certain change is triggered in your brain which makes you feel happier, according to the study. The findings have inferred that people who are more generous towards society are happier than the grumpy ones. However, the amount of generosity didn’t influence the increase in satisfaction. 

"You don't need to become a self-sacrificing martyr to feel happier. Just being a little more generous will suffice," said Philippe Tobler from the University of Zurich. 

The results also provided insight into the interplay between altruism and happiness.Simply promising to behave generously activated the altruistic area of the brain and intensified the interaction between this area and the area associated with happiness. 

"It is remarkable that intent alone generates a neural change before the action is actually implemented," Tobler said.

"Promising to behave generously could be used as a strategy to reinforce the desired behaviour, on the one hand, and to feel happier, on the other," he added. 

For the study, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, 50 participants were promised a sum of money that they would receive in the next few weeks and were supposed to decide to spend it on someone they knew (experimental group) or on themselves (control group).

The results validate that depending on whether dedicated to generosity or selfishness, the region of their brain like temporoparietal junction (where prosocial behaviour and generosity are processed), the ventral striatum (which is associated with happiness), and the orbitofrontal cortex (where we weigh the pros and cons during decision-making processes) reacts differently. 

(with IANS Inputs) 

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