Earlier this month The New York Times had an interesting article called “The Power of Positive People“, which suggested that our focus on physical health (e.g. diet and exercise) — while important — is only part of the equation for our well-being. The article said that researchers have found that happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact and can influence things like obesity, anxiety and overall happiness.
Are your friendships giving you a boost or bringing you down?
While I don’t find the hypothesis surprising, I think it is an important reminder of how important it is to have good friends. We’ve all faced adversity and felt down – it is part of life. Having friends who you can surround yourself with who will help you find the silver linings, be there to cheer you on or give you that added bit of courage really can make a difference. Do you know someone who is struggling at the moment? Give them a call and make plans to meet up. A fun evening together might be the best medicine.
The NYT article was in part based on the research published a few years ago, here: Detecting Emotional Contagion in Massive Social Networks.