This weekend I bought a bigger bookcase and vowed not to buy any more books… for the time being anyway! Whilst stacking the books, my own co-authored book ‘I Just Want To Be Happy’ fell open at page 123 and at the risk of sounding conceited I thought it was rather interesting, so I thought I’d share it with you. I hope you enjoy it.
People conducting The Framingham Heart Study have been amassing a wealth of social and medical data on the inhabitants of Framingham, Massachusetts since 1948.
While this project wasn’t set up specifically to study emotions, it came up with fascinating findings in 2010 that suggest emotions are as infectious as diseases and more importantly, that sadness is more infectious than happiness. They found that having a happy friend increased your chances of personal happiness by 11% while just one sad friend was needed to double an individual’s chance of becoming unhappy.
This means that negative influences can be a lot more powerful than positive ones and lends substance to the ‘joke’ about the depressed person about to jump off a bridge to end it all. Someone goes to talk them out of it and after a few minutes they both decide to jump!
The Power Of Positive Friendships
This significant finding means it’s crucial that the positive people around you heavily outnumber the negative ones, in order to support your own positive outlook and therefore your ability to change.
Exercise: Take an inventory now and make a note of 10 people you have the most contact with. Rank each of them on a scale of 0 – 10 (0 being Negative and 10 being Positive). This is a subjective assessment but it will be good enough for your purposes. Add up the scores and divide by 10. This average score should be well over 6. If it isn’t, it means you need to do some serious rebalancing and introduce more positive friends. It doesn’t mean abandoning those around you who are unhappy, but for the sake of your emotional and mental wellbeing, enlist a few more upbeat pals, to create the balance in your life. If you can’t do that ‘act as if’ and try on being happier, smile more and think of all the things you have to be grateful for.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, please share with your friends.