A new University of Otago, New Zealand, study has found these simple acts of kindness not only benefited victims, but strengthened the well-being and resilience of those giving them. Lead author, Dr Jill Hayhurst, of the Department of Psychology, says the research is the first to show a clear link between civic engagement and resilience.
“In times of challenge and tragedy it can be easy to consider our own well-being as unimportant or trivial, especially compared to those who directly suffered from the terror attack.
“However, in order to effectively support other New Zealanders, make the appropriate changes to our communities, policy, and government, and make Aotearoa safer for everyone, we need to be well and we need to be resilient.
“There’s a growing body of evidence that shows civic engagement is not just good for the people we are helping, but also for our own well-being. This research shows that one way to ensure we are able to confront challenges or adversity in our future is by getting involved in your community, volunteering, or helping a neighbour,” she says.