Can small deeds provide great joy? Researchers discover that "micro-acts" can improve wellbeing.

Eight in the morning, and your inbox is becoming full. An email regarding a coworker's promotion catches your eye. Do you just scroll by or pause to offer appreciation?

Then then, you may be in queue at the coffee shop and easily ignore everyone. However, you choose to pay the guy behind you today.

What possible positive effects may a tiny gesture like this have on your mood now, tonight, or this week?

According to a study published on Tuesday by the scientists behind the BIG JOY Project, those who engage in daily "micro-acts" of joy report an approximate weekly boost in emotional well-being of 25%.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, the science director of the Greater Good Science Centre at the University of California, Berkeley and head of the BIG JOY project, says, "We're incredibly delighted."

"There are quantifiable, statistically significant effects [that include] improved coping mechanisms, less stress, and increased relationship satisfaction."

The Greater Good Science Centre at UC Berkeley and other research institutions are working together on the BIG JOY Project. Thus far, the investigators have obtained preliminary data from more than 70,000 individuals across more than 200 nations. 

Understanding effect and the possibility for change in people's lives is what we're really focusing on, according to Simon-Thomas. The current data indicates that overall, 

micro-acts resulted in higher levels of optimism and hope as well as humorous or lighthearted situations.

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