Study finds therapeutic benefits to acts of kindness

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A new study from Ohio State University shows how acts of kindness led to improvements not seen in other techniques when treating depression, anxiety, and even stress.

In the study, a group of people were asked to perform three acts of kindness for two days of the week, for 10 weeks. These acts of kindness ranged from baking cookies for a friend, to giving a co-worker a ride to their shift. Two other groups were asked to follow traditional means of treating depression with cognitive behavioral therapy and participating in social activities.

The research revealed performing these acts of kindness helped people take their minds off their own symptoms of depression and anxiety. While the other groups following traditional treatment practices did show improvements with symptoms, their participation in social activities did not prove as helpful.

The research indicated participants showed an increase in life satisfaction and a reduction in their symptoms of depression and anxiety.