Happiness is Contagious

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There has been a lot of talk lately about "The Law of Attraction" and "The Secret". The theory behind these concepts is that we tend to get what we think about. By changing our thoughts, we can therefore change our personal situation and world.

Last week I read a newspaper article about happiness. The author quoted what he described as "a recent British Medical Journal" that reported research about social connections. It apparently, reported that there are three degrees of separation for happiness. This means that happiness goes from friends to friends to friends. The Journal also stated that social contact with a happy spouse, sibling or friend increases the likelihood that a person will be happy by 15 percent and that each happy friend boosts your own happiness by 9 percent. On the other hand, "grumpy" friends decrease the chances of you being happy by about 7 percent.

If you think objectively about this, it seems as though there is a very practical formula involved. People who are unhappy and want to change this need to surround themselves with people who are happy and reduce the number of relationships they have with "grump" people. It's a matter of mathematical application.

BUT...if you then consider the "Law of Attraction" which states that you attract what you think about, it would also likely be important to change your thinking from "I am unhappy", "I don't have any friends", and "I don't know how to get happy" to "I can change my situation", "I can find happy people", and "I can take responsibility for my happiness by applying the knowledge that I have learned to do this".

Considering this, I guess the advice that I have been giving to clients is accurate. You need to first "decide" to become happy and then pursue it by choosing to develop relationships with people who are happy.

The bottom line for this is that we are NOT merely victims of life. We do have the power and ability to make positive changes - but change requires a determination to do what is necessary in order for that to happen.

We can no longer say "I am unhappy" or "I don't know how to be happy"! The responsibility for happiness is our own.

It's time to choose well. Choose happiness. And the pursue it by developing friendships with happy people.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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