Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happiness is Contagious

Despite the popular 1960s song by Simon and Garfunkel which proclaimed, “I am a rock, I am an island,” this sense of isolation is neither the natural nor the desired state for human beings. In fact, it’s just the opposite. We crave social interaction and the approval of those around us. We often choose our words and actions carefully, as we know that the attitude we transmit affects the opinion that other people will develop about us. However, do you realize the extent to which your decision to be happy can have a ripple effect on even those who are tangentially in your circle of acquaintances?

I recently read an article on the CNN website describing research first published in the British Medical Journal that I found to be quite stunning. When you exude happiness, that feeling can spread in your social network up to three degrees of separation. Every time you offer a warm smile to a friend, you may be increasing the happiness of someone you have never even met! That is a powerful concept to accept. Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness, said of the study that, "We've known for some time that social relationships are the best predictor of human happiness, and this paper shows that the effect is much more powerful than anyone realized." The study showed that the impact can also be felt among people who are trying to lose weight or quit smoking.

When you make the choice to love yourself and embrace happiness, you are improving the quality of your life and, consciously or not, helping others do the same. But, what if you just do not know how to get happy? What if it has been years since you could truly say that you love yourself? What if you have never been able to say those precious words? In my new book, The Anja Technique: The Art of Self-Love, I will guide you through relaxation techniques that will clear your mind and remove old blocks that prevent you from experiencing a complete love of self. I hope you will read my book along with listening to the relaxation CD that comes along with the book and then start to share your happiness with others!
You will be glad you did!

1 comment:

LoneStart said...

I agree, happiness is indeed contagious. We point out in our Wellness strategy, LoneStart Wellness (http://www.lonestartnow.com) that in much the same way as happiness is contagious, so is wellness. In fact we've trademarked the tagline, Spreading Viral Wellness. When those most at risk for chronic illness take control of their wellness challenges, they become advocates for the strategy that helped them meet their goals. They become part of our health care solution rather than part of the problem. And they "spread viral wellness." They make wellness contagious. Find us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/LoneStart-Wellness/64457855810?ref=mf), and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/lonestartnow). Great post!