Kindness leads to better emotional and mental health

People who are kind to others not only enjoy better physical health (we wrote about this in last Saturday’s blogpost), but also have better emotional and mental health. This was proven in a study conducted by researchers from University of Columbia’s department of psychology and Yale University School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry. They concluded that those who engage in doing good deeds for others can cope better with stress and emotional upheavals.

Quoting other studies, the research paper stated that people are programmed to seek out to help others or nurture them when facing stressful situations. They seem to think of it as Mother Nature’s way of making a stressed out person release happy hormones. This led the researchers to study the effect of what they call pro-social behavior on the naturally occurring emotional stressors.

The study was conducted for 14 days on 77 individuals from 18 to 44 years of age. Every night, they had to fill in reports over their smartphones that would assess their emotional health. The analysis of their assessments indicated that helping other elevated the emotional well being of the participants.

When asked about the relevance of the study, author Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine said, “Stressful days usually lead us to have a worse mood and poorer mental health, but our findings suggest that if we do small things for others, we won’t feel as poorly on such days. We are trying to evaluate whether these findings can be used for helping people who have emotional problems or issues like depression and anxiety.”

Is today one of those days when you can do with some mood alleviation? We suggest doing some good. And if you’re looking for ideas, hop over to Crowdera where you can find a lot of people who can do with some help.