Why Being Kind Makes You Happier & Healthier [Research]

Why Being Kind Makes You Happier & Healthier [Research]

karen salmansohn i like kind people

Have you taken a look at some of the many newfangled beverage names: Get Smart Juice, Passion Power, Skinny Water.

So many juices promising so many benefits! But nobody makes Compassion Cocktail or Niceness Nectar! I’d love to see a company create a juice which promises to make people kinder.

I know what you’re thinking: Maybe the manufacturers just can’t make it!

But, If any juice company is reading this essay, here’s my pitch for why you should start creating a juice which helps people to be nicer.

THE PITCH:

image for nicer

NICER PEOPLE ARE HELPING THE WORLD TO BE A BETTER PLACE. PLUS KIND PEOPLE ARE HAPPIER PEOPLE AND EVERYONE WANTS TO BE HAPPIER! 

The Quick Research on how Nicer = Happier

Many psychological studies have reported that “ALTRUISM” (being kind to others) is 1 of the top 3  “happiness determinators” – alongside “high self esteem” and “intimate connections with others.”

It makes sense that altruism makes you happier –  because the kinder you are to other people –  the more you raise your own self esteem and the more you increase your connections with others – so you wind up tapping into all 3 out of 3 “happiness determinators.”

MORE PERKS TO NICENESS…

Nicer = Healthier + Luckier in Love + Less Sued + More Fulfilled

THE RESEARCH…

being kind
A University of Michigan study reported nice is healthier. Older Americans who provide support to others, either through volunteer work or simply by being a good friend and neighbor, had a 60 percent lower rate of premature death than their unhelpful peers.

A University of Toronto reported that nice is luckier in love. People who are low key and congenial have one half the divorce rate of the general population.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Blink reported that nice spends less time in court. Doctors who had never been sued spoke to their patients for an average of three minutes longer than physicians who had been sued twice or more.

According to positive psychology professor and author Martin Seligman, the biggest feelings of happiness come from leading “a meaningful life,” using personal strengths to be of kindly, altruistic service.

poster thankful unkind kindness
In an experiment called “Philanthropy versus Fun,” Seligman divided his psychology students so some engaged in pleasurable activities (going to the movies, eating yummy ice cream) and the others did philanthropic activities (volunteering at a soup kitchen, reading to the blind).

Guess what?

The happiness afterglow of the fun was nada compared to the lasting happiness of doing altruistic acts. The people who did altruistic acts felt happier for longer periods of time afterwards.

Meaning?

Doing good for others will not only make you feel good—but, according to Seligman, your highest level and most-long-lasting form of feel-good.

Your Assignment:

If you work at a juice company, start researching and creating Niceness Nectar immediately.

Yes, I’m joking!

I know there can never be such a recipe. Although I do know that if you cut back on drinking or eating sugar, that will help to banish bad moods and keep you wanting to act nicer.

You can read more about how sugar is a sneaky evildoer by clicking here and here and here.)

Next up, starting today become more aware of doing small kindnesses.

Give an extra smile, do a sweet gesture, offer a warm compliment, perform generous favor. Also, ask yourself you can help others who might be in greater need. Consider getting involved with a charity where you can make an ongoing contribution.

Click here to find out more about how to raise happier, kinder kids!

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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