Scientific evidence demonstrates the benefits of the practices encouraged and taught in this book regarding personal well-being, success, and health
Being kind to others leads to a number of positive outcomes (e.g. increased happiness and well-being, increased health, increased academic performance)
- A study investigating the effects of a Kindness Curriculum delivered in a public school setting showed greater improvements in social competence and earned higher report card grades in domains of learning, health, and social-emotional development. Promoting prosocial behavior and self-regulatory skills in preschool children through a mindfulness-based kindness curriculum. Flook, Lisa; Goldberg, Simon B.; Pinger, Laura; Davidson, Richard J. Developmental Psychology, Vol 51(1), Jan 2015, 44-51. Special Section: Mindfulness and Compassion in Human Development.
- Chapter summarizing existing research evidence linking altruistic behaviors with greater well-being, health, and longevity. Post, S.G., (2005). Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It’s Good to be Good. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.
- Book describing what leads to ongoing happiness, including things such as committing acts of kindness, expressing gratitude or optimism, and savoring joyful life events. Boehm, J. K., & S. Lyubomirsky. (2009). The promise of sustainable happiness. In C.R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of positive psychology(pp.667-677). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
- Students who were asked to count kindnesses became more happy. (Otake, K. Shimai, S., Tanaka-Matsumi, J., Otsui, K., Fredrickson, B.A. (2006). Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindness intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 361.)
Forgiveness leads to increased happiness and well-being
- Two longitudinal studies found evidence that increases in forgiveness were related to increases in psychological well-being (measured as more satisfaction with life, more positive mood, less negative mood, and fewer physical symptoms). Bono, G., McCullough, M.E., Root, L.M. (2007). Forgiveness, Feeling Connected to Others, and Well-Being: Two Longitudinal Studies. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(2).
- Kindness and gratitude of psychotherapy patients was strongly related to measures of their well-being. Toussaint, L. & Friedman, P. (2009). Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 635.
- Article summarizing research on the benefits of forgiveness which includes a variety of health and social benefits. Worthington, E. (2004). The New Science of Forgiveness. Greater Good in Action.
Gratitude leads to increased happiness and well-being
- An experimental study with 221 early adolescents who were randomly assigned to either a gratitude, hassles, or control condition found that counting blessings was led to greater optimism, life and school satisfaction, and decreased negative affect. (Froh, J.J., Sefick, W.J., & Emmons, R.A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology, 46(2), 213-233.
- Three experimental studies found that participants who regularly were asked to list things they were grateful for led to a number of positive emotional and interpersonal outcomes. Emmons, R.A. & McCullough, M.E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily live. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
- Children assigned to journal daily about things they are grateful for were more happy after 2 months than those who journaled daily about daily events. Froh, J.J., Kashdan, T.B., Ozimkowski, K.M., & Miller, N. (2008). Who benefits the most from a gratitude intervention in children and adolescents? Examining positive affect as a moderator. Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 408-422.
Happiness leads to a number of positive outcomes (e.g., increased academic performance, increased health and life expectancy)
- Article: “How Happiness Directly Impacts Your Success”. See full article by Kathy Caprino, forbes.com https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2013/06/06/how-happiness-directly-impacts-your-success/#1da858cb618b
- A study of 300 middle school students showed that their subjective well-being predicted their grade point averages 1 year later. Suldo, S., Thalji, A., & Ferron, J. (2011). Longitudinal academic outcomes predicted by early adolescents’ subjective well-being, psychopathology, and mental health status yielded from a dual factor model. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6, 17-30.
- Seven types of evidence are reviewed that indicate that high subjective well-being (such as life satisfaction, absence of negative emotions, optimism, and positive emotions) causes better health and longevity. Diener, E., Chan, M.Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Health and Well-Being, 3(1), 1-43.
Mindfulness Meditation and Compassion Training
Mindfulness meditation leads to positive increases in health and well-being
- Article summarizing research about the benefits of compassion meditation, including reduced stress and stress-related illnesses (e.g., depression, heard disease, diabetes). http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/training_kids_for_kindness
- An experience sampling study showed that mindfulness predicted self-regulatory behaviors and positive emotional states. Brown, K.W., Ryan, R.M., (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822-848.