Hold a door open for someone at the bank, give someone directions if they look lost or make a point to compliment three people on your way to work. Small or big, directed at friends or strangers, random acts of kindness make the person performing the kind act happier when they're grouped together, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, an experimental psychologist at UC Riverside. Doing a considerate thing for another person five times in one day made the doer happier than if they had spread out those five acts over one week. Lyubomirsky explains that because we all perform acts of kindness naturally, it seems to please us more when we're more conscious of it. There are social rewards, too, when people respond positively.
Health and Happiness
Happiness is difficult to define and even harder to measure. We experience it as a combination of elements, in the same way that one wheel or spring inside a watch doesn't keep time it is a result of the synchronicity of the whole. As a relative state, happiness is what psychologists call our "subjective well-being" and, fortunately for us, it is a state that we can actively change for the better. Here are 20 ways to start.