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Battling Depression and Anxiety? Being Kind to Others May Be the Answer

The current state of the world can be overwhelming, with inflation, recession, and other events causing despondency and anxiety. This can lead to a never-ending cycle of racing thoughts and an incessantly thumping heart.

However, a recent study by Ohio State University suggests that performing acts of kindness can reduce symptoms of depression. This therapeutic approach, unlike others, allows people to feel more connected, according to co-author David Cregg.

Anxiety is a common experience that can be triggered by daily activities such as leaving the house, using an elevator, or boarding a flight. It can cause nausea, dizziness, a rapid heartbeat, persistent thoughts, and panic attacks. Depression, on the other hand, can have a significant impact on a person’s life and interfere with daily activities, causing massive sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness.

The study found that social connections were strongly linked to well-being and performing acts of kindness was one of the best ways to promote those connections. The study gathered 122 volunteers with mild to moderate signs of stress, anxiety, and depression in central Ohio. They were separated into three groups, two of which underwent cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce depressive symptoms, while the third group focused on social interaction and cognitive revaluation.

The outcome showed that after ten weeks, depression and anxiety symptoms had decreased in all three groups, demonstrating a positive response to their therapeutic strategies. People with depression and anxiety may find that being kind to others and attending to their needs makes them feel better about themselves.