Performing acts of kindness can significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms. In a new study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers at The Ohio State University recruited 122 adults with depression or anxiety symptoms and divided them into three groups. One group engaged in social activities two days per week. A second group recorded their negative thoughts two days each week. The third group performed three kind acts a day for two days out of the week. All three groups showed better mental health after five weeks. But only the kindness group demonstrated substantial gains in social connectedness, or a person’s feeling of belonging. It appears that performing these acts of kindness decrease preoccupation with one’s own thoughts and feelings.
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