If following therapy can reduce or even cure anxiety and depressive disorders, showing altruism and kindness would also have a positive impact on mental health, according to a University of Ohio study.
LIs kindness the key to happiness? Not necessarily, but that quality might diminish on the other side anxiety and depression in people who suffer from it. At least that’s what a study conducted and published by researchers at Ohio State University last year shows The Journal of Positive Psychology. After you, “the performance of good actions leads to noticeable improvements in mental health which are not observed with two other therapeutic techniques commonly used to treat this condition,” as reported female version.
Social connections and kindness can reduce anxiety and depressive disorders
According to David Cregg, responsible for the study, social connections and kindness are related but not interchangeable: be surrounded is not enough to reduce anxiety and depressive disorders, these connections must be accompanied by good deeds. “Social connections are one of the ingredients of life associated with well-being. Showing kindness seems to be one of the best ways to encourage these connections,” he explains in a communicates. Specifically, this study shows that acts of kindness can reduce anxiety and depressive disorders simply because It allows you to focus on something else and quiet the mind.
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Jennifer Cheavens, a professor at Ohio University and a co-author of the study, explains: “It is often assumed that people suffer from it depression have enough to think aboutwe don’t want to add anything to them by asking for their help Other. But the results of this study show that this is not true. […] Showing kindness and focusing on the needs of others helps them focus on other things and can even make people suffering from depression and anxiety feel better.
Being nice once is not enough
For the purposes of this study, the researchers focused on 122 Ohio residents who suffered from emphasize and moderate to severe anxiety and depressive disorders. They divided them into three groups, two groups for cognitive behavioral therapy and one group for cognitive reassessment and social activities. The first group participated in therapeutic activities, while the social group had to organize two social activities per week. The last group had to perform an action pure kindness two days a week, defined as “an act, large or small, for the benefit of another or to make a person happy, that requires an investment of time or money“. Some have therefore baked cakes for their friends, others have organized walks or even left nice words on post-its for their roommates.
After 10 weeks of research, all three groups showed positive results and people could all see a reduction in their blood pressure anxiety disorders and depressed. However, the group that showed the best results was the group that had to perform acts of kindness several times a week. “Acts of kindness have shown benefit [par rapport aux autres groupes] help participants feel more connected for others, which is an important factor in well-being,” explains David Cregg. While kindness doesn’t necessarily completely cure depression or anxiety, David Cregg believes that “Something as simple as helping others can work wonders to help sick people manage their anxiety and depressive disorders versus specific treatments.”
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