Hello from beautiful Montana:
Have you ever heard an infectious laugh? People start giggling in the movie and pretty soon everyone is smiling and laughing along with them. Just as cold and flu germs are spread from person to person, so are attitudes and moods. How you feel and act may be your business, but being around you can determine how others feel and act.
Moods Infect Others
Happiness Effect is a study done by social and political scientists at Harvard and the University of California, San Diego. This 20 year study found that emotions can pass among a network of people up to three degrees of separation away.
Here is how it works. One person is happy and he contacts with a neighbor. That pleasant contact with another person can increase the neighbor's happiness by 34 percent. He connects with his sibling who lives nearby and the siblings happiness quota goes up by 14 percent. He then visits with a friend whose happiness is increased by 25 percent.
Your Attitude Affects the Attitudes of Friends and Family
In the cases sited above, envision what happens as each person becomes happier. Just like an epidemic of virus, the happy bug is then passed on to more and more people in ever increasing circles of influence.
Unfortunately, the downside is that if you are negative, pessimistic and grouchy, that attitude will spread just as readily. The more negative you are, the more your physical and mental health is affected in a negative way.
The people who will be the most influenced are the ones who are central to your network. If you are important to me and my life, I will be more influenced than the interaction of complete strangers.
Center for Disease Control
The Center for Disease Control is now studying how positive affirmations can help improve mood and well being. They are using Facebook and other social media to spread the positive message of the power of positive messages.
So I will smile and share positive messages with others. How about you?
In gratitude and love,
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship coach and author