You can spread happiness simply by being happy. Yes, just by feeling happy, you may be bringing happiness not only to your near and dear ones, but also to those you don’t even know.
A study published in the British Medical Journal used data from the Framingham Heart Study to recreate a network of 4,739 individuals. According to the study, happiness spreads through social networks of family members, friends and neighbours.
The study found that you are 15 per cent more likely to be happy if someone you directly know is happy, 10 per cent, if the friend of a friend is happy, and six per cent if a friend of a friend of a friend is happy. In other words, Happiness is contagious. It’s like a chain reaction, which spreads quickly and is self-sustaining.
In another fascinating study of 2,000 people conducted in Australia, researchers found that volunteers are significantly happier with their work, work hours, community connectedness and spirituality than any other group.
I am not surprised. I think we get happiness in the process of giving. And volunteering is one of the best ways to give. When we volunteer for a cause, we give our time, we give our attention to it—indeed, we give a part of ourselves to it. Perhaps, that’s why volunteering is much more fulfilling than, say, donating money.
Both the studies I refer to corroborate the idea that we get happiness by spreading happiness.
Think about it. When are you happiest? When you have made someone happy, isn’t it?
Now, imagine a world where every individual is busy making others happy. Not only are you getting happiness by making others happy, others are making you happy too.
In our modern, over-communicated, stress-ridden world, somehow happiness has acquired a bad name. Somehow, we have come to believe that happiness is rare and difficult and that sadness, fear, anxiety and despair are the way of life. But nothing could be farther from the truth—Happiness is easy, natural and voluntary. Happiness is about giving rather than getting.
I invite you to try this new happiness. And then share your experience with me on this page
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