Being Kind is Good for Your Health

The Science of Happiness

Nov 23 2023 • 19 mins

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https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/podcasts/habits

Link to episode transcript: https://tinyurl.com/255mcn3b

Episode summary:

This week, we’re focusing on doing good for others, and we’ve turned to someone who cheers people up for a living. Dana Merwin is a professional clown and performer based in San Francisco. For our show, she tried a practice where she performed three acts of kindness a day for the people in her life. She reflects on how simple, kind gestures can pave the way for deep and valuable connections, and that being kind to others ultimately makes us feel good as well. We also hear from psychologist David Cregg about how doing good things for others improves our sense of social connection, purpose in life, and can even help us live longer and healthier lives.

Practice:

  1. Write down or think about three acts of kindness you could perform the next day.

  2. Do three kind acts for people in your life.

  3. At the end of the day, reflect on how these experiences make you feel.

Today’s guests:

Dana Merwin is a progressional clown and performer based in San Francisco.

Learn about Dana’s Work: https://tinyurl.com/bd6ew95a

Follow Dana on Instagram: https://tinyurl.com/dspstzrk

David Cregg is a clinical psychologist at South Texas Veterans Health Care System whose research specializes in positive psychology.

Follow David on Google Scholar: https://tinyurl.com/ajay6n6a

Resources from The Greater Good Science Center:

Do You Underestimate the Impact of Being Kind? https://tinyurl.com/583hwar9

Just One Thing: Be Kind to Yourself by Being Kind to Others: https://tinyurl.com/4dsf7bn2

Do We Have an Instinctive Urge to Be Kind? https://tinyurl.com/y5fabnj3

Can Helping Others Help You Find Meaning in Life? https://tinyurl.com/yc4zhw9w

Three Strategies for Bringing More Kindness into Your Life: https://tinyurl.com/22cx7w9f

More Resources on Doing Good Things For Others:

BBC - What we do and don't know about kindness: https://tinyurl.com/na6jvr9e

Harvard: Lending a helping hand: https://tinyurl.com/yckf4759

UCL: 10 benefits of helping others: https://tinyurl.com/4wn5syhh

Mayo Health Clinic: The art of kindness: https://tinyurl.com/5ah5dahc

What kind action have you done for others recently? Email us at happinesspod@berkeley.edu or use the hashtag #happinesspod.

Help us share The Science of Happiness!

Rate us on Spotify and share this link with someone who might like the show: https://tinyurl.com/873v67ah

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