Research shows that giving makes us happier than receiving. Helping others reach their goals brings joy. How much should you give? The 100 Hour Rule is a good one to practice — two hours a week or 100 hours a year. This seems to be a magical number, writes Eric Barker in Time magazine.
In a study of more than 2,000 Australian adults in their mid-sixties, those who volunteered 100 to 800 hours a year were happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who volunteered fewer than 100 or more than 800 hours annually. In another study, American adults who volunteered at least 100 hours lived longer. There seems to be no benefits of volunteering more than 100 hours. This appears to be the range where giving is maximally energizing and minimally draining.
Research indicates that if when we volunteer two hours a week, our happiness, satisfaction and self-respect rise. It also gives our lives more meaning.
Happiness is mainly about getting what we want. Meaningfulness is linked to doing things that express and reflect ourselves, in doing positive things for others.