Psychology: Brilliant trick instantly boosts mood

With this trick you’ll get in a better mood – and do something for your karma

© Valua Vitaly / Shutterstock

In a bad mood? Then just wish that other people are better off. According to a US study, this helps above all YOUR mood.

It is well known that if we want to be happy, we should not compare ourselves to others, let social expectations put us under pressure, and certainly not feel offended by other people’s opinions.


Wouldn’t it be easiest and healthiest for our mood to think about ourselves as much as possible and about others as little as possible? Perhaps the simplest, but not the best for our mood, like the following experiment by a team of psychologists from Iowa.

Experiment: think about others for 12 minutes

The researchers led by the psychology professor Douglas Gentile from Iowa State University investigated in their experiment how different thinking strategies or trains of thought affect human emotions. To do this, they first divided the test participants into four groups:

  • A group (“Loving-Kindness”) should walk in a building for twelve minutes while doing so think kindly of othersso you want something positive or focus appreciatively (not enviously!) on their strengths and good qualities.
  • The second group (“Interconnectedness”) should be aware during their twelve-minute indoor walk Think about people you connect with and what connects you to them.
  • Group three (“Downward Social Comparison”) had the task of spending their twelve minutes thinking about people who are worse off than you – because they earn less, for example, or don’t live as nicely as they do.
  • The fourth group was Control group without special task.

Immediately after the twelve minutes, the scientists tested the mood of the subjects.

  • The “Loving Kindness groupi.e. the ones with the good wishes, performed best overall: 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 mood in terms of their feelings of anxiety and happiness, but was more open-minded and engaged on a social level.
  • The results of the “Downward Social Comparison” group again did not differ significantly for the psychologists from those of the control group – So comparing themselves to people they were better off against didn’t lift their spirits.

Compassion is human

Sure, now we all tick differently, and if the subjects of the scientists had mainly been bad people, the results could certainly have been different … (you can find out why in our article). But as the Iowa experiment suggests, humans are apparently not just social beings, e.g. B. learn from others and live better in a community. Most obviously connects with their fellow human beings sincere sympathy, which even goes so deep that they can be more happy about the happiness of others than about someone else’s misfortune, even if their own life looks better next to it. And if that doesn’t already put you in a good mood, you can take twelve minutes to wish your colleague via telepathy that something more will come of her and her great date from the other day.

Video tip: 7 habits that immediately make you more likeable

Sympathetic woman


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