positive
daily snippet

3 times a day

 

 

 

positive
daily snippet

3 times a day

 

Motivational
Speech

Morning

 

Afternoon

 

Your daily motivation

Altruism in the animal kingdom 

 

Altruism is defined as “The attitude of caring about others and doing acts that help them although you do not get anything by doing these acts”(1). You would think this is only something that occurs between humans and some people even say real altruism does not exist at all. But have you ever heard of altruism in the animal kingdom? This is a question that has been discussed by scientists and philosophers for centuries and the discussion is still ongoing. If animals’ primary goal in life is preserving their genes and species, why should they help other species? There is not much in it for them, but they still do. 

 

We will show you a video showing some examples of animals selflessly helping others. Have you ever seen a cacado feeding a dog with treats? A bear rescuing a bird from drowning? Or dogs helping out a cat that is being attacked by another cat? If not, watch the following video and make up your own opinion on whether altruism in the animal world exists. Be prepared to be amazed! 

 

How does your personal wellbeing contribute to social good?

 

You have already heard about the benefits of well-being in your life as an individual, but did you know that it is also seen as a criterion for a strong society and economy? (1) Governments across countries as different as the UK and Bhutan employ special surveys that measure the happiness levels of their citizens (1). Why should they even care to do it, you might ask? It turns out there are indeed some strong arguments for this approach.

 

Let us look at scientific concepts first. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson points to the robust evidence about numerous benefits of positive emotions in our lives: they broaden our awareness, encourage us to seek new opportunities, and enable us to build personal resources (2). For example, when you are in a cheerful mood, you may approach your daily routine with playfulness, engage in more physical activity, and be inspired to acquire new skills. You are more likely to think of creative solutions to existing problems and expand your knowledge as well – your inquisitive spirit is awake. (2,3) Negative emotions such as fear or anger do quite the opposite: they prompt survival-oriented, narrow behaviors. When stressed out and angry, you simply will not have the mental and emotional capacity to explore all the opportunities around you. You will also find it way harder to focus on what could be good not just for you but for your family, friends, and the community at large (4). It is not an exaggeration to say that negativity isolates you from others and the potential for positive change in your neighborhood, city, municipality, and country!

Now, imagine if personal resources arising from wellbeing are built on a population level. It only seems logical that a group of happy citizens will contribute to improvements in local communities. Imagine this positive cycle:

 

  1. You experience joy and feel hopeful about the future.
  2. This contributes to your higher well-being and leads you to be more sociable and extroverted. You are even more likely to express a liking for a stranger! (5)
  3. As a result of this prosocial orientation, you are driven to actively search for volunteering opportunities in your area (6).
  4. You eventually organize a reading club for lonely seniors in your neighborhood.
  5. The elders gain new opportunities to bond with their peers and younger generations – their wellbeing levels are bound to increase.
  6. Thanks to this social interaction YOUR & THEIR health outcomes improve – it’s no secret that happier people live longer (7), experience less stress (8), and show better health behaviors (9).
  7. Heard of the leveraging effect? Success in volunteer work might inspire you to seek new employment opportunities that align with your newfound appreciation of charity and openness (10).
  8. Happy workers are productive workers! (11) They usually set higher goals and persist at difficult tasks for longer (12). Your optimistic attitude may therefore boost your performance at work and help you climb up the career ladder you have set your eyes on!

 

To sum up: research suggests that as people feel happier, they actively seek new activities and connections with others, are more successful in their own lives, and contribute to a stronger society. Wellbeing may indeed be the cause, and not just an effect, of positive outcomes for societies! Therefore, do not underestimate the ripple effect of your well-being on things and people in the bigger picture. As promising as it sounds, try not to put too much pressure on yourself, though. If you are experiencing a rather stressful phase in your life, take care of your well-being step by step! You do not have to think of the far-reaching implications of your mental state first. Remember – you can only pour from a full cup!