Source: Fast Company, Jul 2015
Jennifer Trew, a psychologist at Simon Fraser University, says researchers have known for awhile that being kind can increase happiness. She wanted to see whether simple kind deeds, like mowing a neighbor’s lawn, giving to charity, or cooking dinner for a friend, could also help soothe social anxiety.
She believes that kind deeds could help people with social anxiety, especially initially, as a way to ease the way to more difficult kinds of interactions. “It comes down to a change in focus. You’re normally so focused on you and how you are coming across, and if you are focusing on other people, it’s on how they view or whether they are judging you,” says Trew. “With kind acts, it’s taking you out of your own head a little bit and puts your focus on making good things happen in a social context.”