Apr 11, 2019
Since we just learned that sugar will not sweeten your mood, we look to psychologists from the Iowa State University to provide an alternative to a Hershey bar or a glass of sangria. They just published a study in the Journal of Happiness Studies that suggests a very good alternative.
The researchers had groups of college students test 3 potentially mood-elevating techniques as they walked around campus eyeballing passersby for 12 minute sessions. A loving-kindness group made wishes to themselves that the people they saw would be happy. A second interconnectedness group looked at others and tried to imaging how they might be interconnected in some way. The third group made downward social comparisons thinking how much better off they were than those they saw. A control group merely looked at the passersby objectively noting what they were wearing.
Twelve minutes of thinking kind thoughts about people had a therapeutic effect, even on those with narcissistic tendencies. Expressing concerns for others, even only internally, increases happiness, reduces anxiety, and generates feels of positive social connections.
Douglas A. Gentile, Dawn M. Sweet, Lanmiao He. Caring for Others Cares for the Self: An Experimental Test of Brief Downward Social Comparison, Loving-Kindness, and Interconnectedness Contemplations. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2019 DOI: 10.1007/s10902-019-00100-2
#Mood #happiness #loving kindness #psychology #anxiety