If You're Having A Bad Day, Doing This One Thing Will Cheer You Up The Most
If a rough week led you to spend a weekend getting your nails done, eating doughnuts and shopping, that all sounds awesome. I'm so jealous.
Unfortunately, it probably didn't make you feel better.
According to a new study published in the journal Emotion, the best way to get yourself out of a funk is being nice to other people.
For the study, psychologists divided 473 participants into four groups.
For six weeks, one of the groups had to perform acts of kindness that would improve the world (picking up trash, for example). The second group had to perform acts of kindness for others, the third was asked to do nice things for themselves and the final group was a neutral control group who went about their daily routines normally.
Psychologists found treating yourself and doing nothing (aka going about your routine normally) don't do much for your mood either way. Acts of kindness, however, whether for others or the world, significantly improve your mood.
This isn't the first time the correlation between happiness and giving has been studied. In fact, scientists found the same parts of our brains are activated when we give to others as when we have sex or eat delicious food.
In other words, giving feels really, really good.
So, volunteer, give money to charity or call your grandma and ask if you can take her out to lunch. You'll be happier for it.