Why Kind People Are Happier and Healthier [Research]

Why Kind People Are Happier and Healthier [Research]

Kind People Are Happier

The research keeps coming in. Kind people are happier and healthier. It literally is good for you to be a good person.

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 Kindness Kocktail or Niceness Nectar! I’d love to see a company create a juice which promises to make people kinder.

I’m joking of course. But… it would be a terrific product!

So…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.

My Kindness Kocktail pitch:

Why Kind People Are Happier and Healthier

Kind people are helping our world to be a better place. 

Plus research shows that kind people are happier people.

And duh – everybody wants to be happier.

The Quick Research on Kind People Being Happier

Many psychological studies have reported that “altruism” (being kind to others) is 1 of the top 3  “happiness determinators.”

The full 3 happiness determinators:

  1. altruism
  2. high self esteem
  3. intimate connections with others

When you look at that list, it makes sense that altruism makes you happier. After all, the kinder you are to other people –  the more you raise your own self esteem – plus the more you increase your connections with others. As a result, you wind up tapping into all 3 out of 3  of those “happiness determinators.”

More perks to niceness…

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

More research on happy kind people…

  • being kind boosts happiness quote
    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.

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

quote thankful unkind kindness
In an experiment called “Philanthropy versus Fun, Seligman divided his psychology students into two groups.

  • Group 1 engaged in pleasurable activities (going to the movies, eating yummy ice cream).
  • Group 2 did philanthropic activities (volunteering at a soup kitchen, reading to the blind).

Guess which group was happier?

The happiness afterglow of the fun found in Group 1, was nada compared to the lasting happiness of doing altruistic acts found in Group 2..

Yes, the kind people were happier people!

In this study, Group 2 clearly reported that after they did their altruistic acts, they not only felt happier – they also felt their happiness for longer periods of time afterwards.

Meaning?

Doing good for others will not only make you feel good. According to Seligman, being kind will also bring you both your highest level and longest lasting form of happiness.

Your Kindness and Happiness Assignment:

  1. 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 also know that if you cut back on sugar, that you will reduce your frequency of bad moods – and thereby boost your yearning to act nicer. (You can read more about how sugar is a sneaky evil doer by clicking here and here and here.)
  2. Next up, starting today become more aware of doing small acts of kindness. Give an extra smile. Perform a sweet gesture. Offer a warm compliment. Do a generous favor. Also, ask yourself how you can help others who might be in greater need. Consider getting involved with a charity – where you can make an ongoing contribution. Learn more here about how to give back and make a difference in this world.

Get more tools to boost your happiness

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Boost your confidence, attitude, and mood with this powerful and thought provoking collection of short essays and happiness strategies.

It’s the perfect gift for someone you want to cheer on or cheer up – including yourself!

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