I think you need a super cute jar to help remind you to save all your extra $$$ for your amazing honeymoon! Using E600, glue your choice of toy to the top of the glass jar lid – let dry for a few hours. As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture or a trackback a€“ We Love Seeing Your Creativity! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. On a fine summer morning in Vancouver, British Columbia, our graduate student Lara Aknin approached passersby with a box of envelopes and an unusual request: “Are you willing to be in an experiment?” If people said yes, she asked them how happy they were, got their phone number, and handed them one of her mysterious envelopes. When people opened the envelope, they found a five dollar bill, accompanied by a simple note. Please spend this $5.00 today before 5pm on a gift for someone else or a donation to charity. In addition, some people got similar envelopes, but with a 20 dollar bill rather than a five. This experiment suggests that spending as little as five dollars to help someone else can increase your own happiness.
And it extends well beyond North America: A survey conducted by the Gallup World Poll between 2006 and 2008 found that in 120 out of 136 countries, people who donated to charity in the past month reported greater satisfaction with life.
But these findings don’t mean that people always experience pure, unmitigated happiness from helping others: Research shows that the nature of the giving situation matters. Most of us have experienced a situation in which we felt cornered into providing help, whether by an overeager street canvasser, a colleague’s child selling overpriced chocolate bars for her basketball team, or a friend’s awkward request for a loan (an event so ubiquitous that Googling “awkward loan requests” gets about 90 million hits).
But not only do gifts make us feel close to others; feeling closer to others makes us feel better about gifts.
This essay is adapted from the new book Happy Money (Simon & Schuster), by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. Meanwhile, Lara handed out additional gift cards to a different group of lucky people, telling them to spend the gift card on themselves; half of these people went to Starbucks alone, while the others visited Starbucks with a friend but spent the card only on themselves. Both UNICEF and Spread the Net are worthy organizations devoted to children’s well-being, and the two are partners.
As that finding suggests, people feel better about giving money when they can sense the real-world impact of their generosity. What’s more, enabling donors to see the specific impact of charitable initiatives carries a huge potential payoff: By maximizing the emotional benefits of giving, the strategy can make people more willing to behave generously in the future. Is it possible to let people taste the joy of making a positive impact for as little as a dollar?
Just one example, but it points to a larger scientific truth: When prosocial spending is done right—when it feels like a choice, when it connects us with others, and when it makes a clear impact—even small gifts can have a big effect on happiness, potentially spurring a domino effect of generosity. Christine Carter always tried to meet other people’s expectations—until she realized how out of sync with her own wants and needs she’d become.
The new science of bias suggests that we all carry prejudices within ourselves—and we all have the tools to keep them in check.
Finds that feeling gratitude produces kind and helpful behavior, even when that behavior is costly to the individual actor.
By Derek BokAuthor and former Harvard president, Derek Bok, makes the case that findings from positive psychology should inform social policies, helping the public benefit from what scientists have learned about the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Become a member of the Greater Good Science Center to enjoy exclusive articles, videos, discounts, and other special benefits. Wow have you even met me because I have no idea what gave you that impression, was it something I said?
Well I am honoured that this blog has 154 followers (why are you all so obsessed with me), but this isn’t actually my blog, this is just for purposes of publicizing the theme on this blog (which you can download here).

Make your Mother's Day card a little extra special this year by adding the perfect sentiment. These jars can be used over and over to save for trips in the future… not just your Honeymoon – it could be a new saving tradition! Once dry I glittered the surface of the lid with Mod Podge and Martha Stewart Glitter in blue and turquoise. Everyday we share new and unique wedding inspiration that is carefully curated for the DIY bride. Here are our guidelines: 1-2 images in their original format may be used with a direct link provided that full and clear credit is given to Something Turquoise along with the credited photographer and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
An affiliate link means that we may receive a commission on sales of some of the products that are linked in our posts; it costs you nothing and we are rewarded for the introduction. Armed with this extra bit of cash and their instructions about how to spend it, people went on their way. By the end of the day, individuals who spent money on others—who engaged in what we call “prosocial spending”—were measurably happier than those who spent money on themselves—even though there were no differences between the two groups at the beginning of the day. This relationship emerged in poor and rich countries alike—again, it held up even after controlling for individuals’ income.
Investing in others can take a seemingly limitless variety of forms, from donating to a charity that helps strangers in a faraway country to buying lunch for a friend. Understanding the answer to this complex question can help us get the biggest happiness bang for our own prosocial buck—and can help us create positive giving experiences for our children, clients, customers, employees, and donors. In one study, 138 college students kept a daily diary over a two-week period, reporting how they felt each day and whether they had helped someone else or done something for a worthy cause. In a study at the University of Oregon, researchers gave $100 to people, who then donated some of this money to a food bank—all from the inside of a scanner that assessed brain activity as they donated. Maybe you should just set up a pretty website and then let people decide whether to donate of their own accord. In one study, a graduate student requested a bit of help and ended her plea by saying either, “It’s entirely your choice whether to help or not” or “I really think you should help out.” In both cases, the personal plea was highly effective. Indeed, after learning that their girlfriends have selected a desirable gift for them, men in long-term relationships are significantly more likely to say that the relationship will continue—and culminate in marriage.
Research shows that people derive more happiness from spending money on “strong ties” (such as significant others, but also close friends and immediate family members) than on “weak ties” (think a friend of a friend, or a step-uncle). The people who used the gift card to benefit someone else and spent time with that person at Starbucks. You’re likely to get the biggest happiness bang for your prosocial buck if you invest in others in ways that help you connect with people, especially people you care about.
Creating links between a specific donor and a specific classroom enables an emotional connection to emerge from what would otherwise be a cold financial transaction. There is no denying the importance of this cause, but it can be hard to see how a small donation to such a large, nebulous organization will make a concrete difference in a child’s life.
Knowing that we’re having an impact on someone else is another critical factor in transforming good deeds into good feelings.
After reflecting on a time when they had spent money on themselves or others, students received an envelope filled with cash.
It’s tough to imagine how such a small donation could make a difference—unless you join forces with others. Make a commitment to yourself to always add something to this jar and before you know it you will create a nice little honeymoon nest egg. Unfortunately the etching didn’t show well on film with the $$ in the jar – but it looks great in person! That evening, they received a call asking them how happy they were feeling, as well as how they had spent the money.

The amount of money people found in their envelopes—five dollars or 20—had no effect on their happiness.
This relationship between prosocial spending and happiness held up even after taking into account individuals’ income.
Across the 136 countries studied, donating to charity had a similar relationship to happiness as doubling household income. Students reported feeling better on days when they did something prosocial, but only when their actions felt self-chosen. Sometimes people could choose whether to give money, but sometimes the donations were mandatory, more like taxation. To explore this idea, Lara Aknin, who is now a professor at Simon Fraser University, decided to hand out $10 Starbucks gift cards. Contrast that with Spread the Net, which allows donors to contribute $10 to send one malaria net to sub-Saharan Africa.
And, sure enough, research we’ve conducted has found that when donors give money to Spread the Net, they get a bigger happiness boost than when they give money to UNICEF.
In addition to adding words to the inside of the card, a few words or sentiments can be added to the front of the card as part of the design. If students helped because they felt like they had to or because people would be mad otherwise, they felt worse on days when they did good things. Even when donations were mandatory, giving to this worthwhile charity provoked activation in reward areas of the brain.
One of the most common reasons people report donating to charity is that someone asks them to give.
Importantly, though, helpers felt happier if they had been reminded that helping was their choice rather than being told they should help. Not only did people feel happier after reflecting on a time when they spent money on others, but the happier they felt after thinking about their past spending experience, the more inclined they were to spend the new cash-filled envelope on others rather than themselves. Members each contribute one dollar, and the group decides what random act of generosity to perform with the pool of money. But activation in these reward areas (along with self-reported satisfaction) was considerably greater when people chose to donate than when their prosocial spending was obligatory.
The trick, then, is to craft charitable appeals that encourage people to give—without making them feel forced to comply. What’s more, people reminded of choice provided higher-quality assistance and felt a closer sense of connection with the person they helped. She told others to give the gift card away to someone else, but she insisted that they refrain from accompanying that person to Starbucks. As their first act, they surprised a young couple out for Valentine’s Day and paid for their entire meal. So, people in both groups got the chance to invest in others, specifically through the gift of caffeination, but only one group was allowed to spend time with the beneficiary of their gift. This can look particularly effective when the poem or quotation is contained within a rubber stamped frame. They decided to give the money they saved on dinner to a local charity (as well as buy some treats for their cat).
I would have been able to tell you how much they’d clash with my sweater and prevent you from buying them in the first place, and also, who wears leg warmers in August?

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