By Alicja Shah
Would you like to be happier? If yes, then you should consider doing something for other people.
I have recently read a plethora of self-improvement books and many of them point to the research that shows volunteering can increase our happiness levels. I decided to try out volunteering for myself.
Luckily my decision coincided with the Volunteers Week and a friend’s Facebook call for help with the Baby Bank Network’s first birthday celebrations (part of the Bristol Make Sunday Special event).
I chose to help out at the cake stand (who wouldn’t?! I mean there will be CAKE!) and even got round to persuading my partner to bake some treats for the event.
When I turned up on the day I was greeted by many friendly volunteers and me and my daughter (who really wanted to help out) quickly settled at the stand. We were there for around two hours selling cakes and restocking the stand.
What I loved about the experience was how infectious the enthusiasm of the other volunteers was. I was truly inspired by stories of baking 70 cupcakes with a toddler in tow (big kudos to that lady, your lemon cupcakes were amazing!) and examples of how people help out with the Baby Bank Network.
It was really touching to see so much positivity and energy. I loved the fact that my daughter learnt a valuable lesson on helping others and that she had so much fun while doing so!
So did the volunteering experience made me happier? Yes, supporting the Baby Bank Network’s event was a really nice way to spend an afternoon and seeing how much money was collected was the proverbial icing on the cake.
But what dawned on me is that once you start caring about other people’s happiness you stop obsessing so much about your own. You are much more grateful about what you have in your life and that in turn makes you happy.
I think Heather French Henry words are important “Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.”