Happiness really is contagious

Happiness really is contagious

And your happiness positively affects your friends, your friends' friends, and your friends' friends' friends.
source-image
Dec 24, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
Are you feeling a little down in the mouth this holiday season, what with the economic recession darkening your doorstep? Come on, get happy. You’ll be glad to know happiness is about friends, not money. This is according to a new study by Harvard Medical School that studied the collective power of good vibes.

Researchers looked at 5,000 people over 20 years and found that when one person became happy, the network effect went up to three degrees away. That means if you get happy, it can trigger a social chain reaction over in one year or less that benefits not just your friends, but your friends’ friends and your friends’ friends’ friends. This is the first study to show the indirect spread of happiness: You don’t have to know the person in your extended social network to be in a better mood because he or she is happy.

One of the study’s authors, James Fowler, says this indirect happiness works better than money in your pocket. Having an extra $5,000 in your wallet boosts your chances of becoming happier by roughly 2 percent, Fowler says. A friend of your friend who gets happy increases your chances of increased bliss by 10 percent. A friend of your friend’s friend who gets happy boosts your chance to get happy by 5.6 percent.

And don’t worry: This infection rate apparently doesn’t work as well for sadness. So, smile as often as you can and think positive—recession or not. You really help make everyone’s life a little better.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.