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  • 12/6/2008

Feeling happy? Spread it around


Happiness is infectious and can "ripple" through social groups such as family and friends,but work colleagues are apparently immune to each other’s moods, according to a study.

The effect creates "clusters" of happy and unhappy people, both socially and in geographical terms, said the study, stressing that contentment "is not merely the province of isolated individuals."

Work colleagues are not affected by a happy person in their midst, AFP quoted the study in the British Medical Journal.

"Changes in individual happiness can ripple through social networks and generate large scale structure in the network, giving rise to clusters of happy and unhappy individuals," said the study’s authors.

"Most important from our perspective is the recognition that people are embedded in social networks and that the health and well-being of one person affects the health and well-being of others.

baby smile

"Human happiness is not merely the province of isolated individuals," added the study, by Professor Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School and Professor James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego.

According to the study, geography can affect happiness: if you have a friend who becomes happy and lives within a mile (1.6 km), it will increase your likelihood of being happy by 25 percent.

"Work colleagues did not affect happiness levels, suggesting that social context may curtail the spread of emotional states," said the study.

other links:

14 Quick Energy Boosters

9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes

Lack of joy in life ups early death risk

Does Talking to Yourself Mean you’re Crazy

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