But why? Stanford University psychologists decided to find out. They asked students to carry out 1 random act of kindness a day for 6 weeks. They could do whatever they wanted. Like, buy a homeless person a meal, help a kid with their homework, or give a cab driver a 100% tip.
And at the end of the study, the students who regularly “paid kindness forward” reported feeling happier than students in the control group who did not perform acts of kindness. The psychologists found that people feel better when they do things – even small things – that other people appreciate. Because it makes them feel like they’re generous, in control, and contributing to society. And just seeing someone smile in gratitude, or having them say “thank you” – and mean it - makes you feel like you’re making a difference.
Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis says that random acts of kindness are great. But don’t forget kind deeds that strengthen your social ties. with people you actually know. Like going to visit your grandmother, taking your sister’s kids out for the day so she can take relax, or raking the leaves in your neighbor’s yard when they’re sick. Or consider joining a volunteer organization. A place where you can not only help people, but meet others who enjoy sharing the benefits of kindness. Consider this: If you make one person a little happier every day – think what kind of an impact you could have on the world as a whole!