People have long believed that what you put out into the world is what will be returned to you. Therefore, putting the needs of others first is certainly a great strategy for ensuring your long-term happiness.
How Putting Others First Will Increase Your Happiness
1. Develop closer relationships with others. Showing more consideration for others will naturally improve your relationships. People are more likely to reciprocate if you are kind. Even if they fail to return your generosity, you’ll be able to accept temporary disappointments more easily because your relationships will be grounded in a sincere regard for their welfare.
2. Reduce your stress levels. It’s exhausting trying to control every aspect of the world and it’s often frustrating because many things are beyond our control. Placing less importance on your own immediate gratification will help you feel more content no matter what occurs.
3. Promote a more compassionate society. By setting a good example, you may encourage others to look beyond their own needs. Your positive conduct can have a powerful impact on those around you.
4. Protect yourself from depression. Recent studies show a disturbing rise in narcissism and a corresponding increased risk of depression. Putting others first is good for your emotional health. Healthy relationships and virtuous living are likely to make you far more content than depending on others for attention and trying to accumulate material possessions.
5. Develop empathy. The world’s population is approaching 7 billion. When you understand how we share more similarities than differences, it’s easy to understand the needs of others.
6. Make every task more meaningful. Even mundane tasks can feel rewarding if you see how they benefit others. For example, think about how recycling helps to protect the planet for future generations.
How to Start Putting Others First in Your Daily Life
1. Transform your commute. Use your daily commute to think about others. See how it feels when you stop rushing to get the last seat on the train. Be patient with other drivers they are only trying to get to their destination, the same as you are.
2. Incorporate putting others first into your parenting. Your children learn by your example. Help them to get off to a healthy start by talking with them about your values. Explain why you take the time to chat with elderly neighbors or volunteer at your church.
3. Practice at work. Demonstrate your team spirit. Look for opportunities to help others with their workload. Praise others for their accomplishments and share the credit for group efforts.
4. Take a different approach to shopping. Holiday shopping stampedes have gotten notoriously out of control. Make shopping more fun by attaching less importance to getting any one popular item.
5. Select your leisure activities wisely. Devote your leisure time to activities that help you to enrich the lives of other people. You may want to do formal volunteer work for a cause you believe in. Even eating out can qualify if you keep the focus on helping others to enjoy themselves and leave a generous tip for the servers.
6. Use media strategically. You can still enjoy TV and other common pleasures. Just make them productive by viewing the characters with compassion. Analyze how their actions demonstrate selflessness and how that results in improving their circumstances.
Thinking of others first will make your life happier. Spend time thinking about why it’s beneficial to consider the welfare of others and take advantage of the opportunities to practice this strategy in your daily life.