Home Covid Nutrition Mental health Fitness Familly and pregnancy Sleep

How Performing Acts of Kindness Helps You Fight Depression

Author Avatar
By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
New research shows that acts of kindness can help those suffering from the symptoms of depression and anxiety feel good and heal.   Depression and anxiety is now an increasingly discussed topic in the medical sector as there is a spike in the rate of people showing symptoms of the disorder However, a new study has confirmed that acts of kindness will likely help those suffering from this terrible illness to heal from it. The research showed that someone suffering from the above illness could get healing when they help others in need. It is one of the effective therapeutic techniques used to treat depression or anxiety now.    [caption id="attachment_17648" align="aligncenter" width="695"]anxiety disorder chart Our World in Data[/caption] The study co-author David Cregg, who led the work as part of his Ph.D. dissertation in psychology at The Ohio State University, said that acts of kindness helped those who are suffering from depression and anxiety feel more connected with the world. Most times, lack of connection or feeling of love from people often makes people fall into depression and anxiety.    David Cregg highlighted that social connection would greatly help to treat a patient with the following mental illnesses. "Social connection is one of the ingredients of life most strongly associated with well-being. Performing acts of kindness seem to be one of the best ways to promote those connections," David Cregg said.    Jennifer Cheavens, professor of psychology at Ohio State, was the one who met with David Cregg to conduct this research on the cure for depression and anxiety. Their breakthrough research was jointly published in The Journal of Positive Psychology. 

People's Perception of Depression is Wrong 

In their research, David Cregg and Jennifer Cheavens said that people's perception of depression and anxiety is very wrong. They stated that the idea that people with depression should not help others is very wrong.   People often think that expecting those suffering from depression to help others is an additional load to them. However, Cregg and Cheavens think it is a wrong idea. Instead, helping others might be the best treatment for those suffering from depression.  [caption id="attachment_17649" align="aligncenter" width="632"]Mental health workers chart Number of mental health workers per 100,000 population as of 2020 (Statista)[/caption]   "We often think that people with depression have enough to deal with, so we don't want to burden them by asking them to help others. But these results run counter to that. Doing nice things for people and focusing on the needs of others may actually help people with depression and anxiety feel better about themselves," Jennifer Cheavens said.    The study which David Cregg and Jennifer Cheavens carried out involved about 122 adults suffering from different kinds of depression and anxiety. Those involved in the study had depression ranging from mild to extreme. After having social activity and helping others as instructed, Cregg and Cheavens established that social activity and helping those in need help those suffering from depression.    "These results are encouraging because they suggest that all three study interventions are effective at reducing distress and improving satisfaction. But acts of kindness still showed an advantage over both social activities and cognitive reappraisal by making people feel more connected to other people, which is an important part of well-being," David Cregg said.