The Power of Kindness: How Acts of Kindness Can Relieve Symptoms of Depression

Studies have demonstrated that those suffering from depression or anxiety could potentially boost their mental wellbeing by participating in acts of kindness toward others.

Studies conducted have revealed that performing kind deeds is an effective therapy in combatting depression and anxiety, even more effective than two traditional therapeutic techniques that are typically employed against these conditions.

One of the key discoveries from this study was that acts of kindness were the only interventions which helped people create stronger connections to those around them.

Good mental health is often tied to strong social ties. One way of building and strengthening these bonds is through acts of kindness.

Take part in helpful acts can be instrumental in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety due to their ability to help people focus their thoughts elsewhere rather than dwelling on anxiety and sorrow.

This research challenges the common belief that those dealing with depression cannot help others. Instead, this study suggests that those experiencing depression can find comfort and relief through helping those around them.

According to this research, actively engaging in altruistic behaviors and prioritizing others can significantly improve mental well-being for people suffering from depression, anxiety and stress. 122 participants experiencing various levels of these symptoms took part in this research project.

Following their initial session, individuals were divided into three separate groups. Two of these worked on strategies utilized in cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression: cognitive reappraisal or planning social activities.

One group was assigned the task of designing and planning two social activities per week for completion, while the second learned about cognitive reappraisal – an essential aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Participants in this group kept diaries for at least two days to help identify troubling thought patterns and replace them with more positive approaches, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The third group was instructed to do three good deeds per day on two of the week, even if this cost them time or resources. A kind deed could include anything small or big that helped others out and made them happier – even if doing this cost them resources or time.

Participants in the study reported showing kindness by baking cookies for friends, providing rides or leaving encouraging notes behind for roommates.

After five weeks, participants’ progress was assessed. To ensure its effectiveness, researchers followed up with participants for another five weeks to monitor them further.

Research results indicated a dramatic increase in mental wellbeing for all three groups after 10 weeks, specifically an increase in life satisfaction as well as decreased anxiety and depression symptoms for participants.

Acts of kindness proved superior to both cognitive reappraisal and social activities by creating greater connections among individuals, which is key for their mental well-being.

Studies showed that those who participated in acts of kindness showed greater improvement in terms of life satisfaction, depression and anxiety symptoms compared to those who practiced cognitive reappraisal alone. Meanwhile, simply participating in social activities had no noticeable impact on feeling socially connected.

Acts of kindness bring people together in ways that transcend other forms of socializing. Simply being with others does not provide enough bonding opportunities as performing good deeds for another individual does.

Though this study implemented cognitive behavioral therapy methods, it should not be seen as an alternative to full-scale CBT. Individuals receiving full CBT may see more beneficial results than in this research study.

The findings from this study also demonstrate the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy even over a short period.

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