helping other increased self-esteem and happiness

Researchers at Toronto’s York University have discovered: being nice and practicing good deeds can boot your self-esteem, increase your happiness and change your life. 700 participants took part in the study and stated that it had changed their lives for the better. “After six months, more than half continued with the exercise because they felt good doing it.”

York University professor Myriam Mongrain syas, “Her research (project hopecanada.com) is finding karma may be worth more than cash. What’s amazing is that the time investment required for these changes to occur is so small.” She notes in her conclusions, “We’re talking about mere minutes a day.”

Mongrain says, that by being kind to others, we learn to be kind to ourselves. “Empathy needs to be practised,” she adds.

Now that is something we can all need practice more of – empathy to ourselves and others.

“doing noble, charitable acts makes us feel better about ourselves. We reaffirm that we are ‘good’, which is a highly valued trait in our society. It is also possible that being kind to others may help us be kind to ourselves,” Mongrain says. She notes that previous studies have demonstrated a causal relationship between compassionate behaviours and charitable self-evaluations.

“Compassion cuts both ways,” she says. “If you make a conscious decision to not be so hard on others, it becomes easier to not be so hard on yourself. Furthermore, providing support to others often means that we will get support back. That is why caring for and helping others may be the best possible thing we can do for ourselves. On a less selfish level, there is something intrinsically satisfying about helping others and witnessing their gratitude,” says Mongrain.

“Participants’ levels of depression, happiness and self-esteem were assessed at the study’s onset, and at four subsequent points over the following six months; those in the compassionate condition reported significantly greater increases in self-esteem and happiness at six months compared to those in the control group.” Via: Is there scientific proof for karma? / York University

Real full article below (click on picture to make it bigger)

thanks to Winston for the tip (via 24hrs)

Press release: SCIENTIFIC PROOF FOR KARMA? YORK U STUDY FINDS SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS HAVE BIG IMPACT ON EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING Via York University
The secret to happiness? Just be nice via the Globe and Mail

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