Is Happiness Contagious?

Bhutan mountainside
"Most people are as happy as they
make up their minds to be."

--Abraham Lincoln

Have you heard of the country of Bhutan in the Himalayas where they actually have a government Ministry whose purpose is to see to the happiness of its people? They literally measure the gross national product of happiness. They feel it is the ultimate purpose of government to invest in the happiness of its people.


The Harvard "Happiness" Study

"A study of more than 4,700 people who were followed over 20 years found that people who are happy or become happy boost the chances that someone they know will be happy. The power of happiness, moreover, can span another degree of separation, elevating the mood of that person's husband, wife, brother, sister, friend or next-door neighbor.

"You would think that your emotional state would depend on your own choices and actions and experience," said Nicholas A. Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard University who helped conduct the study published online today by BMJ, a British medical journal. "But it also depends on the choices and actions and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected. Happiness is contagious."

One person's happiness can affect another's for as much as a year, the researchers found, and while unhappiness can also spread from person to person, the "infectiousness" of that emotion appears to be far weaker.

Previous studies have documented the common experience that one person's emotions can influence another's -- laughter can trigger guffaws in others; seeing someone smile can momentarily lift one's spirits. But the new study is the first to find that happiness can spread across groups for an extended period. "

Read More from this amazing Washington Post article by clicking HERE.


I've always suspected this to be true, how wonderful that now this theory has been proven.

People who are genuinely happy can positively affect the lives of others.

Now, more than ever, we have strong reasons...and a choose happiness.



Dana and Daisy said...

I received your wonderful gift yesterday. I hope you don't mind if I blog about your generous package and give you some linky-love!

Thank you!

Tracey McBride said...

Hi Dana! I'm so happy that they finally arrived safe and sound!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

What a wonderful post! I agree whole heartedly. I spent years going to work in a good mood, only to run into sour coworkers who could just suck the sunshine right out of the day! I made it my goal to change their attitude before they changed mine!

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