What Type of Kindness Will Make You Happiest?

By Elizabeth Hopper | Sept 7, 2018

Studies have found that being kind to others can provide a variety of personal benefits to happiness and health. But is well-being affected by different types of kindness? Researchers sought to find out.

A study published in The Journal of Social Psychology addresses whether or not different types of kindness result in different mental and physical benefits. Researchers pooled over 600 participants around the world into five different groups. One group was asked to complete daily acts of kindness towards family members and friends. Another group was asked to act kindly towards acquaintances and strangers. Another group was tasked with completing acts of self-kindness. Other participants were asked to simply observe acts of kindness committed by others. A control group was asked to go about their lives normally. The researchers concluded that the differences in action did not result in major differences in happiness, but the four groups asked to practice and observe various different types of kindness all reported feeling happier and had more positive outlooks compared to the control group. These results suggest that acting altruistically may actually boost mental health, no matter what type of act of kindness you choose.

To find out more about the studies of kindness from the Greater Good Science Center, read the full article here: What Type of Kindness Will Make You Happiest?