In a bad mood? Then you wish that others feel better. That helps – according to an American investigation – especially YOUR mood.
If we want to be happy, as we know, we should not compare ourselves to others nor be put under pressure by social expectations and certainly not feel affected by other people’s opinions.
Would not it be easiest and most healthy for our mood to think as much as possible about ourselves and as little as possible to others? The easiest, perhaps, best for our mood, but not as the following experiment by a psychology team from Iowa showed.
Think of others for 12 minutes
The researchers, led by psychology professor Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University, investigated in their experiment how different thinking strategies and thoughts affect human emotions. First, they divided the participants into four groups:
- A group (“loving-kindness”) should walk for 12 minutes in a building and benevolently think of others , meaning they want something positive or appreciative (not jealous!) Focus on their strengths and good qualities.
- The second group (“interconnectedness”) should consciously think of people they feel connected to and how they connect with them during their twelve-minute indoor walk.
- Group three (“downward social comparison”) had the task of spending their twelve minutes thinking about people who are worse off than them – for example, because they earn less or do not live as well as they do.
- The fourth group was the control group without any special thought.
Immediately after the twelve minutes, the scientists tested how it was now for the mood of the subjects.
- Overall, the ” loving-kindness” group , that is, those with good wishes, scored the best: Subjects in this group showed less anxiety than the control group, but more satisfaction, compassion and interest in their fellow human beings .
- The ” interconnectedness” group did not differ from the control group in terms of humor in terms of their feelings of fear and happiness, but was more open-minded and committed on a social level.
- The results of the ” downward-social-comparison” group , for their part, did not differ significantly from those of the control group for the psychologists – comparing themselves to people they are better off with did not raise their spirits.
Compassion is human
Sure, now we all tick differently and if the subjects of the scientists were predominantly bad people , the results could have been different … (why, you’ll find out in our article). But, as the experiment from Iowa suggests, people do not seem to be just social beings. B. learn from others and live better in a community. Most people seem to associate with their fellow human beings compassionate sincerity , which is so deep that they can be more happy about the happiness of others than about unfortunate misery, even if their own life is better next to it. And if that does not put you in a good mood, you can take twelve minutes to wish the colleague a thought-transfer that will make her and her great date of the past more