When the World Laughs With You. . .

18 12 2008

Our local health club just sent me this by email:

Do you ever wonder whether happy people have something that keeps them cheerful, chipper and able to see the good in everything? It turns out they do; they have happy friends.

New research from Harvard Medical School and the University of California suggests that happiness is influenced not only by the people you know, but by the people they know. The study shows that happiness spreads through social networks, sort of like a virus, meaning that your happiness could influence the happiness of someone you’ve never even met.

“We have known for a long time that there is a direct relationship between one person’s happiness and another’s,” says study co-author James H. Fowler, PhD, University of California. “But this study shows that indirect relationships also affect happiness. We found a statistical relationship not just between your happiness and your friends’ happiness, but between your happiness and your friends’ friends’ happiness.”

They concluded that the happiness of an immediate social contact increases an individual’s chances of becoming happy by 15 percent. The happiness of a second-degree contact, such as the spouse of a friend, increases the likeliness of becoming happy by 10 percent, and the happiness of a third-degree contact, or the friend of a friend of a friend, increases the likelihood of becoming happy by 6 percent.

Surround yourself with happy people, because happy friends can make you happy.
Source: webmd.com

Not like I didn’t already know that just about everything, good or bad, spreads through social networks. 😉

(Remember the study about how fat people have fat friends??)

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3 responses

21 12 2008
Colleen

That makes me happy. 🙂

27 12 2008
writestuff444

Cock a Snook must be a happy place then, with all us happy people hanging out here! 🙂 I thought of you JJ and gang, when I heard this on NPR last week..and it started me thinking about those “unhappy” networks I’ve belonged to as well..You know, the angry, my way or the highway kind of places..and how “unhappy” and tense they always made me feel, and so now, I don’t mind brief excursions into unhappy territory, but tend to hang in the happiness zone myself these days!

27 12 2008
JJ

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Betty!

I’ll come comment over at your new post in a bit too, about the happiness zone you’ve got going with those wonderful grown kids of yours. 🙂 🙂

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