When we're happy, the people close to us are happier too!
Many people say happiness is contagious, and so are positivity and negativity. Studies consistently show that we are happier when we connect with happy and positive people. But, how contagious is happiness? A study has shown that a person's happiness extends to as far as the friends of their friends' friends!
A group of Yale scientists examined the data collected from a study that tracked 4800 individuals for 20 years. The information gathered included health, food, fitness, habits, stress, family issues, social networks, and happiness. The Yale researchers were interested in changes in an individual’s happiness over time. After analyzing the 20 years of data, they concluded that "people's happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected."
How is our happiness linked to the happiness of others?
The data showed that, like many of us, the participants had social networks with clusters of happy and unhappy people. Among what appeared to be ordinary data, the Yale researchers discovered several interesting findings, including:
(a) Each additional happy friend a person has increases their chance of happiness by about 9%.
When we have regular contact with multiple happy friends, there is an increased chance that we are happier. This is a great incentive to go out and make new friends with happy vibes.
(b) When a person's friend who lives less than a mile away becomes happier, the person's chance of becoming happier increases by 25%.
Maintaining close relationships with cheerful neighbors is good for our happiness, and living near joyful parents and siblings is a blessing. We've got to keep the summer barbecues and game nights going.
(c) The happiness effect diminishes with time separation.
It's not just about surrounding ourselves with happy people but also spending time with happy people. We'd better find time for our happy friends, no matter how busy our lives are!
(d) A person's happiness extends to three degrees of separation — meaning that it can affect their friends, their friends' friends, and the friends of their friends' friends.
When we become happy, we spread happiness to our spouses, partners, kids, their friends, and their friends' friends. We like being around happy people, and so do they. Can you imagine the positive effect happiness has on your relationships with your loved ones?
How to increase our chance of happiness?
1. Let go of people that drain us.
We only have 24 hours a day. Many of us already juggle work, family, and ourselves. The time left to spend socializing is quite limited. So, we must choose wisely with whom we spend our precious time.
If you often feel drained or agitated after spending time with certain people, your chance of increased happiness because of them is relatively low. It is a sign that these people aren't the right match for you. Stepping away from relationships can often be uncomfortable, especially if you have known these people for a long time. But consider turning the table around; would you want your good friends to be happy, and would you respect their choices?
Free yourself from guilty feelings. Focus on what is good for you. Letting go of relationships that emotionally exhaust you will allow more time to spend on positive, supportive relationships. It isn't always easy, but it's worthwhile.
2. Spend time with people that lift us up.
It feels good to be accepted, understood, inspired, or motivated by others. Spending time with warm, caring, positive, and supportive people is important to our happiness. Our families are the centers of our inner circles, but they don't have to be the only people in our circles. Let the right people who lift us higher into our inner circles. Keep happy friends close; keep happiest friends closest.
Everyone has their ups and downs. No one is happy all the time, but positive people can see obstacles as challenges with opportunities. Positive, supportive friends can lift you up when life gets tough. Bond with your positive, supportive friends, and continue to strengthen the bond over time.
3. Join social groups.
The more happy people we spend time with, the merrier we are likely to be. When we count the happy people we regularly spend time with, the number may be surprisingly small for some of us. This may be because of small social networks or because we live far away from families and friends. Whatever the case may be, having more happy friends to hang out with is better for our happiness.
Letting go of existing social connections that are lacking isn't always easy, and building new ones can be intimidating. But, for our happiness and well-being, it can be worthwhile. Taking baby steps to make a slow transition may be more palatable for some.
Perhaps for you, it's easier to enhance the existing positive relationships first. Knowing that you have positive, supportive friends to lift you higher, you will feel more confident to move forward.
Would you invite happy friends over for a tea party? If so, consider adding ECOMAAT La Vie en Rose Drops to the beverages and cakes to make your party merry and rosy.
If you feel happier after trying out these tips, please share this article. Spreading happiness is a great feeling too. We continue to search for science-based information about happiness. If you want to share some news or tell us how we can improve, we'd love to hear from you!
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