These days I’m very careful who I choose to be around. Because I’ve come to realise that who I hang out with has a major impact on what I think and how I feel. Some people are beneficial and some obviously aren’t. And I guess it’s a sign of how much we care for ourselves when we limit the negative and seek out the positive wherever and whenever possible. And that means some tough choices sometimes, doesn’t it. Not always popular ones.
And there’s nothing selfish in this. In fact, quite the opposite. Because they’ve shown that emotions spread like diseases. Pretty incredible, huh. That we can ‘catch’ being happy. And ‘catch’ being sad. Harvard University we’re talking. Not some pseudo-science piece but hard arse research. The scary thing is it’s twice as easy to catch the ‘sad’ bug than it is the ‘happy’ one. But when you catch happy it lasts longer. Emotional contagion. It even has a name. And it spreads like wildfire between people in frequent close contact. Like families. Like workmates. Anyone we hang out with really on a consistent basis.
Take a friend who lives a mile away from me. If that friend becomes happier, I have a 25% chance of becoming happier too. If my neighbour becomes happier then it’s a 34% chance. Huge! And the thing is the happier I am, the happier people are around me. Because I pass it on. So when I am happier, because someone around me is happier, then I spread that on to all the people in my life too. And that’s the sort of contagious I’m in favour of.
Happiness gone viral. And because I want to spread happiness to those I love, I am really conscious of who I spend my time with.
Happiness. It’s so important, isn’t it. For health. For leaving the world a better place. So it pays to be careful who’s in your inner circle. Who should you avoid? And who should you hang out with more?