Do happy people make you happy? When you are out with them or they come over to visit, do they make you more chipper and help you feel better about yourself and the world? I tend to think so.
But this isn't just me thinking this - apparently it's a medical fact - happiness is contagious and is passed from happy person to soon-to-be-happy person. And hanging out with happy people can help a person's chance for future happiness.
In an article just published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), researchers at the University of California at San Diego and researchers at Harvard have found that people's happiness often depends on the happiness of those close to them. Happiness is therefore not always "personal happiness" because it relates closely to our environment.
What is most interesting is that our physical (geographical) closeness matters. If a person lives a mile or less from a person who makes them happy - their change of happiness is increased by 25%! The same results were shown for spouses who live together, neighbors, and brothers and sisters who live a less than a mile from each other. The further away the person, the less impact they have on another's emotional state.
And also interesting is the fact that co-workers have little impact on a person's happiness. (I assume these are co-workers who are not bullies or cause distress to each other).
So what this shows is how personal connections and social interactions are vital to humans. While some of us (me, for one) really enjoy alone time, human beings are designed to be a collective network - to group together and to form societies that support each other.
It should be noted that the participants in this long-term study were from one particular area in the United States - this was not a far-reaching geographical study. However, since we tend to find that human behavior is similar in most parts of the world - this study likely has merit.
For more on this story - click here : http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/131880.php
Have you noticed that when you are surrounded by generally content people, the contentment transfers to you? Or do you think this study might be a bit of wishful thinking on behalf of the participants?
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.