By Lynn Difley
Hey everybody, did you see the latest study? It’s good news. Happiness is contagious! Well isn’t that the best ever? I’d much rather catch a batch of feeling good than a cold or flu, and I’d rather pass it on as well.

This study analyzed 4,739 people along with their network of connections, from 1983 to 2003. Now that’s a lot of studying. Earlier studies had established obesity and quitting smoking, also socially contagious. But this one is the best, establishing that a smile on your neighbor’s face, or your neighbor’s neighbor, will end up causing you to smile and be happier. They also say that unconscious signals of well-being pack more zing than conscious feelings of resentment.
A next-door neighbor’s joy increases your happiness factor by 34%. Just knowing someone who is happy makes you 15.3% more likely to be happy. A happy friend of a friend increases your odds of happiness by 9.8%, and even your neighbor’s sister’s friend can give your happiness factor a 5.6% boost.

This is great news for those who belong to a network of motorhoming friends, the Good Sam Club for example, and other groups that gather for a multitude of reasons. You may have noticed that in most cases a group of RVers having a potluck, playing cards, or socializing is full of jokes, laughter, and camaraderie. You just can’t come to a rally or gathering and not end up laughing and enjoying yourself. “Smile and the world smiles with you”, turns out to be true. This study, published by the British Medical journal, and conducted by scientists from Harvard University and UC San Diego, shows that happiness spreads easily through social networks of family members, friends and neighbors.

Happy people in geographic proximity were most effective at spreading their good cheer. The happiest people were at the hub of large social networks, the good feelings radiating outward to cheer up everyone along the way. And it’s not just those closest to us, our spouse or our next-door neighbor. The effect of contacts even three degrees removed, friends of friends of friends, can influence our happiness. So go right on enjoying your freewheeling lifestyle, and remember to find something every day to be happy about, and share with others. You are responsible for who knows how many other people’s happiness; get the happiness virus spreading!

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  1. Shelly Gentry

    I love this!
    Thanks for the post and have a happy day!

  2. Fred

    Hi Lynn,

    You can’t lose with these kinds of thoughts. This has been Mary’s and my philosophy for as long as I can remember. We all can get this at our favorite place of worship each week.

    Say Hi to Bob for me,