Simple Ways To Spread Happiness
With International Day of Happiness approaching we explore if happiness is contagious and if its possible to spread joy.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle
A 20-year study followed people and their influence on others’ happiness throughout their social networks. They discovered that a person’s happiness can influence the happiness of others for up to three degrees of separation. Those directly connected were 15.3% more likely to be happy if their connection was happy as well!
Another investigation following over 680,000 Facebook users found similar proof of happiness contagion. Emotionally-driven positive and negative posts on users’ feeds influenced the kind of content those users were inclined to post.
A third study again supported that emotions are socially regulated. This study found that when people conveyed happiness, the observers mirrored it and experienced an increase in their own happy feelings. Walking around with a frown on your face? The same study found that in contrast, observing angry faces led subjects to feel angrier themselves.
Perhaps we can start a happiness epidemic in our social circles! Here are our picks for the easiest ways to do it:
Be the happiness! Given what we now know about emotional contagion, try to embody positivity. Take time to care for your own happiness. Do this by filtering your inputs, taking time for self-love and engaging in activities with those that bring you joy.
Don’t forget to smile. Smile at everyone—whether stranger, friend or foe! It’s the simplest way to break-down barriers. We are so conditioned to ignore and to look away from others. This causes us to miss so many opportunities to spread love!
Don’t complain—if you can help it. Whinging can often be a security blanket in social situations. Before you know it, all that bonding over negativity can bring everyone’s mood down. Look for the silver lining in all things!
Do something kind. Shout some brunch or pay for lunch. People will remember your acts of kindness. By making other’s feel appreciated you are helping to spread joy.
Be the bearer of good news. Instead of beginning conversations with the latest news, find positive topics for discussion. Chat about something great that happened to you or exciting plans that you have coming up.
Now go see how many smiles you can get and spread some joy! You’ll feel better for it too.