How small acts of kindness can make you happier and healthier

For those who fully engaged in their kind acts, those acts were associated with reductions in both anxiety and depression. Photo: Pexels

(Meena Andiappan/ The Conversation) – How to optimize the pursuit of well-being and happiness is a question researchers have tried to tackle from a range of angles. The social effects of the pandemic led many people to focus more closely on their mental health and buffer against threats to well-being — in short, to pursue happiness.

As a social scientist, I study the intersection of ethical behaviour and well-being. Last year, my colleagues and I decided to explore ways that people could increase their sense of well-being and decrease the increasingly common feelings of anxiety and depression that arose during the pandemic.

Given the recent popular movement towards ideals of self-care and focusing inward, we wanted to further investigate the best way to increase one’s happiness and mental health. (…)