Strangers Can Make you Happy?

A recent study finds that happiness may be socially contagious. Yes, just like smoking and obesity are socially contagious, now too is happiness! Happiness seems like such an individual act. People influence our happiness (when they show love or do something special for us) but ultimately, I’ve always thought my happiness came from within – only I could determine whether I was happy or not. I’ve heard that when you smile, people who see you smiling also smile too. I guess it only makes sense that if smiling is contagious, then happiness (symbolized and carried by the smile) can be too. The study finds that the spread of happiness works mainly when you are in physical and temporal proximity with someone – though they did study Facebook relationships and found that people who were smiling in their pictures had more friends than non-smilers and had more friends that were smiling! While more research needs to be done and the scientists do not advocate smiling at everyone you see (as that could be potentially dangerous particularly in New York), this study shows our inter-connectedness and the influence people (total strangers) have on one another.

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