An Unexpected (and Underrated) Way
To Help Increase Happiness Quickly
One of the best ways to succeed in life is to be as happy as you can as often as you can.
And like many things in life, it’s tempting to look for special, little known secrets that will work miracles.
But as is often the case with many things, simple works best.
Today, we will look at a collection of studies (known as a meta-analysis) to help us find the answer.
Curry et al. (2016) examined 21 different studies to compare the impact of small acts of kindness against other positive psychology interventions that people use, such as mindfulness, positivity and gratitude.
Examples of acts of kindness utilized in these studies include: running an errand for a neighbour, helping someone you meet when out in public, giving someone an unexpected gift, etc.
Results showed that engaging in a small act of kindness was equivalent to 1-point on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is equal to no happiness, and 10 was equivalent to being extremely happy.
That’s huge, especially for such a simple task!
Imagine this, your current level of happiness is sort of ho-hum and hovering around a 5. Two or three simple acts of kindness for family, friends or even a stranger could help you feel pretty darn good in just a matter of a few minutes.
And if you need a little more convincing, being kind to others can produce higher levels of happiness than simply being kind to yourself (Nelson et al., 2016).
No wonder it feels so good to give someone a gift.
Engaging in acts of kindness is a wonderful tool to have in the psychological tool bag to help easily and predictably increase feelings of happiness.
Not to mention that a simple act of kindness can help someone else feel good.
Perhaps that's why it's been said that the secret to living is giving.