Kindness: The Solution to Stress?

The most wonderful time of the year…more like the most woeful time of the year. The stress of gift-buying, worrying about finances, coping with traffic, and dealing with family issues—it can easily turn the most jolly of us into the Grinch. Believe it or not, there’s a simple solution that doesn’t cost a dime or take any extra time: kindness.

A recent study published in Clinical Psychological Science found that “prosocial” or “affiliative” behavior, basically, making an effort to connect with other people and help them in some way, can help ease or prevent stress. That’s a nice reminder that doing something good makes us feel good. Stop for a beat and hold the door for the person a few steps behind you, smile at the person getting on the elevator, offer to give up your seat on the bus or train, and then, ah, feel your stress subside.

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday!