Professor Adrian Wells of Manchester University has previously stated that stress, anxiety, and depression are caused by an exaggerated internal focus, and a shift in attention will therefore reduce these burdens.
A study conducted at Yale University and UCLA has shown that people who help others, even with small things like opening doors or carrying their belongings, experience beneficial effects from this, as it reduces their daily stress levels.
By helping others – providing care as a friendly gesture – there is an outward shift in attention, which according to researchers has this positive effect.
“It was surprising how strong and uniform the effects were across daily experiences,” says Emily Ansell. “For example, if a participant did engage in more prosocial behaviors on stressful days, there was essentially no impact of stress on positive emotion or daily mental health. And there was only a slight increase in negative emotion from stress if the participant engaged in more prosocial behaviors.”
So, not only do you become a kinder person, but you also increase your overall well-being.
You can read more about the study here: