Mindfulness physical therapy, pain management, rehabilitation

Kindness Activities Boost Happiness

Rowland and Curry investigated the effects of a seven-day kindness activities intervention on changes in subjective happiness, comparing acts of kindness offered to different groups against a no acts of kindness control group.1 Participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups: Strong Ties (n = 132), Weak Ties/Strangers (n = 114), Self (novel kind acts to self; n = 148), and Observe (actively trying to observe kind acts in their daily lives; n = 136). Participants were instructed to (1) carry out (or to actively attempt to observe) at least one act of kindness every day for 7 days and to record them and (2) carry out different and/or more kind activities than they normally would. A 10-point single-item self-report happiness scale was used to measure happiness before and after the intervention. The results indicate that performing kindness activities for seven days increases happiness. In addition, authors report a positive correlation between the number of kind acts and increases in happiness. Neither effect differed across the experimental the groups, suggesting that kindness to strong ties, to weak ties, and to self, as well as observing acts of kindness, have equally positive effects on happiness.

As we navigate the challenges of living through this pandemic, especially in winter months, maintaining a stable and uplifted mood can take deliberate effort, choices and actions. Choosing acts of kindness can support your own happiness while bringing a smile to others.

1Rowland L, Curry OS. A range of kindness activities boost happiness. J Soc Psychol. 2019;159(3):340-343.