Knowledge - RISC

The spread of happiness: How it works

Created By RISC | 2 months ago

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Many people want to be happy…but don’t know how. It can be simple. You can pick up happiness by just being near a happy person. You can also pass on happiness to others.

The Framingham Heart Study collected data from 4,739 volunteers in 1983-2003. According to the results published in 2008 by N A Christakis, a person surrounded by a group of happy people creates a cluster of happiness.

Happiness can spread to people you are close to by 25%, in each group with similar traits living within a mile (1.6 km) for spouses, siblings, and neighbors (although happiness doesn’t spread like this with colleagues).

Happiness can also pass on to your close friends and another 3 people. If you make a close friend (1 person) happier by 15.3%, a close friend of your friend will be 9.8% happier. A close friend of the second person gets 5.6% happier.

So if you want to be happy, just find somebody close to you who is happy. He or she can make you feel happy too. Plus, you can also pass on your happiness, even to friends of friends of friends!

On the other hand, if someone nearby is sad, it can also spread even more than happiness. So take steps to make yourself happy and pass it on to others.

Reference: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sitthichok Waranusantikul, N A Christakis https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2338

Writer/editor: Sarigga Pongsuwan, Ph.D. (Research/VP, RISC)

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