Be happy makes those around you happier

December 5, 2008

(ChattahBox) — A recent study revealed that a cheerful stranger in your neighborhood can cheer you up and has more effect on your happiness. The study followed a large number of people for 20 years. It revealed that an individual’s happiness not only depends upon his choices and actions but also on choices and actions of people they do not know and are perfect strangers.

The paper was published in the British medical journal which concluded that happiness is contagious and good cheers passes from one individual to another. The researchers examined questionnaires that asked people to measure their happiness. They found distinct happy and unhappy clusters significantly bigger than would be expected by chance. The study was conducted as a part of growing trend to measure well-being as a crucial component of public health.

The study revealed the power of social network and its effect on an individual’s state of mind. It stated that knowing someone who is happy makes you 15.3 percent more likely to be happy and a happy friend increases your odds of being happy by 9.8 percent.

The new study “have serious implications for our understanding of the determinants of health and for the design of policies and interventions,” wrote psychologist Andrew Steptoe of University College London and epidemiologist Ana Diez Roux of the University of Michigan in an accompanying editorial.

The study is yet another revelation that emotions spread like a contagious virus. Earlier reports have shown that waiters that serve with a large smile get bigger tips.


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