Ah, the happy people. Sing it, Pharrell Williams. Doesn’t it seem like some people are just born happy? There are lots of folks who believe that school of thought. Whether or not you’re one of them, there’s no question that happiness can have a positive impact on your life and overall mood. And the best news? Happiness is contagious. And it’s one thing you shouldn’t mind spreading around.
Our researcher friends at Harvard Medical School and elsewhere have discovered some interesting facts in their study of happiness:
- Happiness is partially genetic. The University of Minnesota found that identical twins shared the same general level of happiness, regardless of being raised together or separately.
- Money can’t always buy happiness. A recent study shares that an income boost does elevate a person’s mood, but only to a certain amount ($75,000 per year).
- Happiness is contagious. Harvard’s Dr. Nicholas Christakis, along with the University of California at San Diego, conducted a study that’s paved the way to understanding the contagion of emotions. Findings from the study showed that happiness spreads through social networks like family, friends, neighbors, etc. So one person’s happiness does indeed influence the happiness of someone else.
The study concluded that the happiness of an immediate social contact increased another individual’s chances of becoming happy by 15%. The happiness of a ‘second-degree’ contact (like the friend of a friend) increases the likelihood of becoming happy by 10%. And the happiness of a ‘third-degree’ contact (a friend of friend of a friend) can increase happiness by 6%.
So happy together.
So there you have it. Being happy makes other people happy. So if you weren’t born happy, turn that frown upside down and start spreading the happy factor. Not sure how to begin? Share this blog post with a friend or neighbor (that would DEFINITELY make us happy). Or grab whoever is standing next to you and bust a move to this list of Top 20 Happy Songs of All Time.