Monday, August 24, 2009

Q - How can we be happy?

  1. A - Be around other happy people

    That is right. Dr Nicholas Christakis from Harvard University has used data studying over 5,000 people for over 20 years. He has found that when someone close to us – friends or relatives – become happy then we do too. For example, if someone who lives within 1 mile of us becomes happier, then we are 15% more likely to be happier. What is more amazing, is that this effect seems to happen even at a 3rd degree of separation – in other words we are more likely to be happier if we know someone who knows someone else who is happy. Amazing, and yet not too surprising when you think about it. We see it all the time in Alcoholics anonymous and Narcotics anonymous, or in church or other social settings. We are social creatures and we benefit from feeling connected. And who we connect with makes a big difference to how we see ourselves. It is one of the reasons we are not big fans of Methadone clinics, and we are big fans of support groups.

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