What if the cure for your cold was opening a door for a complete stranger? Or watering your neighbor’s roses while they are away on vacation when you notice them wilting? How about stopping your headache by putting some spare change in someone’s parking meter when it is about to expire? Or, reversing inflammatory joint pain by letting someone cut in front of you in traffic without getting miffed? These are not just Pollyanna wishes for curing mental and physical ailments. Science abounds with proof that kindness cures, an even makes us smarter.
Though there are opponents to the ‘smile-or-die’ phenomenon, but many studies actually provide sound evidence that kindness, and thereby, happiness, make you healthier.
In fact, a Department of Psychology Tohoku Gakuin University study found that happy people become happier by being kind. In their study of two groups of people, one of 175 undergraduate students, and another of more than a hundred women, results showed that:
(a) Happy people scored higher on their motivation to perform, and their recognition and enactment of kind behaviors.
(b) Happy people have more happy memories in daily life in terms of both quantity and quality.
(c) Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week.