You can be happy by being kind. Who would’ve thought?
A new study published Tuesday by The Ohio State University in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that simple acts of kindness can be the best treatment for depression.
“Social connection is one of the ingredients of life most strongly associated with well-being. Performing acts of kindness seems to be one of the best ways to promote those connections,” David Cregg, a co-author of the study, said in a statement.
Cregg was working on the study in conjunction with Ohio State Psychology Professor Jennifer Cheavens as part of her Ph.D. dissertation. Together, the pair examined 122 people in central Ohio who reported “moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.” Participants were divided into three cohorts, each assigned different techniques to calm their symptoms: planning social activities, cognitive reappraisal, and acts of kindness. Such “acts of kindness” were defined as “big or small acts that benefit others or make others happy, typically at some cost to you in terms of time or resources.”
According to the researchers, acts of kindness are most effective.
“We often think that people with depression have enough to deal with, so we don’t want to burden them by asking them to…