Here’s how you can be happier by helping others too!
New research shows that an act of kindness could actually benefit your mental health. Ohio State University researchers found that people heal themselves when they do good things to others.
Acts of Kindness
The study, conducted by David Cregg and Jennifer Cheavens, involved 122 people part. All participants had symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress; ranges from moderate to difficult.The contributors have been divided into 3 groups. Two groups had to use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, and one group had to perform three acts of kindness a day, two days a week. These acts could be anything. They were beneficial to others and entailed some costs (in terms of time and/or resources) for the participants. These participants baked cookies for their friends, left words of encouragement around the house, or took people out.
For five weeks, the participants had to follow their instructions. The results were then evaluated.
The best result of the study was that people in all groups felt better. This means that the usual techniques normally used to treat depression and anxiety also worked. But the third group that did kind deeds felt better than everyone else.
David Cregg told The Ohio State News, “…acts of kindness still showed an advantage over social activities and cognitive reappraisal in making people feel more connected to other people, which is a large part of well-being. And it’s not just about being social. According to Jennifer Cheavens, people who only participated in social activities did not show as much improvement as people who did good things for other people. “There is something specific about doing
Acts of kindness that makes humans sense linked to others. It’s not enough just to be with other people and participate in social activities,” said Cheavens.
This means that when you’re feeling down, it might just be what you need to make you feel better. Cregg concludes, “Something as simple as helping other people can reach beyond other treatments to help heal people with depression and anxiety.
“For those struggling with depression or anxiety and feeling hopeless and powerless, just having a connection with people is enough,” Sarfo said, adding that acts of kindness can even help you build a new life Friend.
“Even if you’re depressed and can’t get out of bed, you can still call, text, or leave a nice voice recording of someone to make them feel a little better,” Sarfo continued.
Doing good things for others can also help people feel a greater sense of purpose or impact on others, which is important for people with symptoms of anxiety or depression, Sarfo added.
“You realize that people appreciate you, people enjoy having you here on the planet. When you’re down and hopeless, sometimes you forget,” Sarfo said.
Sarfo encouraged parents to teach their children the importance of being kind to others. You can start with something as simple as holding the door open for someone. “It doesn’t have to be the biggest…but it might make their day,” he said.