Kindness Ripples

Like Grandma said, doing good makes you feel good! But can you PROVE it?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Selfless acts like feeding the hungry warm your heart. But do they influence your FUTURE actions?

Kristin Layous and colleagues from California State University, East Bay explored the science of gratitude, kindness, and effort. About one hundred fifty undergraduates rated themselves on their happiness, willingness to improve, and desire to help.

Next, participants wrote either notes thanking someone, or no note at all.  Then they performed kind acts of their choosing once a week for six weeks. Each week, they reported their good deeds and rated themselves on positive and negative feelings. They also rated how hard they tried when doing kind acts.

Those who wrote thank you notes felt more warmth and optimism throughout most of the study. Greater effort while doing good deeds leads to more well-being afterward!  The researchers believe committing positive acts may lead to a cycle of kindness and happiness.

In short, “Happiness runs in a circular motion” – so says Donovan – and science!