Want to Be Happy - Get Happy Friends

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Fergal, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Fergal

    Fergal
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    We probably all know it, but happiness is contagious and having happy friends can make you happier according to scientific research published yesterday.
     
  2. Nazreen

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    I think that I've heard this before and the opposite is also quite true. Having friends who are always down and unhappy is contagious too.

    I had a good friend before who's too negative and always thinking of the bad things that might happen. She's an extreme pessimist and always thinking about what if's like "what if I slip and make a mistake?" "what if her sickness is very serious?". After I answer one what if question, she'll come up with another what if and then another, and I guess I just became fed up. I've always told her that there's no use worrying about the future that hasn't come yet but that's already in her nature, I guess.

    So let's all dump our sad and pathetic friends who are beyond redemption and surround ourselves with happy ones instead. :D
     
  3. Fergal

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    Or become happy ourselves and cheer our friends up!
     
  4. Kay

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    LOL, talk about polar opposites in views. ;)

    I've written on this before and am in both camps here. That fact itself is undoubtedly true. In dealing with negativity, I'd try along the lines of Fergal's way first and if that doesn't work, move on to Nazreen's. :)

    Sometimes it's about your perspective vs. theirs which I wrote about. If you try help them by being truthful and straight with them and it's rejected, time to move on and find new buddies. Each needs to do what makes them happy and if that means letting go of the negative people in your life, so be it.

    We all need some fun, positive, life affirming people in our lives, my friends. It goes a long way to creating happiness when you can lighten your mind and heart just by being around their positive energy.
     
  5. Nazreen

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    A more detailed article about happiness being contagious was written on msnbc.com. I'll highlight the important points the were stressed in that article.

    1. On average, every happy person in your social network increases your own chance of cheer by 9 percent — and the effects of catching someone else’s happiness lasts up to one year.
    2. They found that when someone gets happy, that person’s friend experiences a 25 percent increased chance of becoming happy. A friend of that friend experiences a nearly 10 percent chance of increased happiness, and a friend of that friend has a 5.6 percent increased chance of happiness.
    3. That means a stranger’s good mood can do more to lift your spirits than a $5,000 raise, which only increased happiness 2 percent.
    4. What’s more, all these happy people could be helping to keep each other healthy. Several recent medical studies have linked happiness and health, including a 2006 Carnegie Mellon University study that found buoyant personality types catch fewer colds than downers.
    5. But it seems you can’t catch happiness over the phone. It was found that the increase in happiness only affects friends who live within a mile away from each other.
    6. On the flip side, if you’re feeling blue, you’ve only yourself to blame. Sadness doesn’t infect a social group as reliably happiness does.

    If you look at number 6 on the list, I guess I was mistaken about the sad friends part. Generally, sad friends still have a significant effect but not to all they come in contact with.
     
  6. Kay

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    Thanks, Nazreen that was interesting to hear some more details on that. I don't think for a minute them saying you've only got yourself to blame if people make you sad is entirely accurate just because it affects people to a lesser degree than happiness.

    Some people are more sensitive to the emotions of others than most and take them on board like a physical weight. I personally can walk into a room and know if someone's unhappy or angry before they even say a word or I even look at them just by the feeling I get. Same if they're happy or excited - any strong emotion either way I can pick up on. But then that's just me. If you're in any way intuitive, it affects you in a similar way.
     
  7. deepak_sharma

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    That's true that your nature goes according to your friend circle. If you are more with Happy friends you would be more happy.
     
  8. Nazreen

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    Patch Adams

    I think that I liked point number 4 the most. Several studies have linked happiness with health and this reinforces the saying "Laughter is the best medicine".

    This reminds me of Robin Williams' funny and touching movie "Patch Adams". If you've not watched it yet, I'd recommend that you do. If you've already watched it, it wouldn't hurt to watch it again. I think I already watched this movie thrice.
     
  9. Fergal

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    Thanks Nazreen, that's an excellent explanation of the article. I've seen "Patch Adams" quite a few years ago, must dig it out and watch it again.
     
  10. Nazreen

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    Speaking of happiness, what do you think about adult people who are still so into comics and manga? They seem to be a very happy lot especially my husband. Sometimes you just see him laughing on his own when reading manga comics in the comedy genre. He loves reading comics and manga and I guess that some of it rubbed on me. :)

    On another note, gurus and doctors alike also advise us that when we're happy, we should just have a good laugh. When we receive some good news even if it's just a minor one, we should celebrate and spread it around.
     
  11. scifi

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    Your external environment affects your brain to a very large extent.. when you will remain in company of happy friends you will try avoid being sad & in a short time due course will eventually forget your sadness too, even if for a short time or a while only!!!
    It is a very basic nature of human behavior that it gets influence to certain degree with every human being it come across however it may not be necessary or it depends totally on an individual whether he implements same in his behavior or not..Happiness is although a certain state of mind; that definitely gets imparted in us also, when we come into contact with happy people around us..!!
     
  12. Fergal

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    I'm not into comics myself, but anything that brings pleasure and joy has got to be good.

    The older I get the more important I think it is to celebrate successes. It helps to motivate us and to enjoy life more. I once worked in a company where successes were never celebrated and it was just a case of moving on to the next project. As you can imagine, it didn't exactly contribute to a happy work environment.

    Scifi you remind me of one time myself and a friend were in a pub a few years ago. There was a band playing but they were not getting a response from the crowd and there was not atmosphere in the place.

    Myself and my friend made a slightly embarrassed effort to clap after every song. The band acknowledged us because we were the only ones clapping. After a couple of songs a few others began to clap, and soon after that the whole pub was clapping. This spurred the band on and they got more interactive with the crowd and everyone seemed to have a much better night.

    Although maybe it had more to do with everyone consuming more alcohol than our efforts to lift the crowd :)
     
  13. Kay

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    My ex loved comics, he had boxes and boxes of Marvel ones up our loft. My son's into manga as well but it's not comedy stuff. He talks to me about them and I haven't a clue LOL. I used to like graphic novels that were anything but comics like Clive Barker's The Yattering. I agree with Fergal, if it brings a smile to your face and makes you feel good, it's got to be a good thing.

    Absolutely! If you can't celebrate the successes, what's the point? Everyone likes to be acknowledged for their contribution and to get a well deserved pat on the back. I think there's nothing more demotivating that them just being brushed aside as if they're nothing special.


    Ha! I burst out laughing at that. I'm a clapper too even if no one else is bothering much. One of these days, someone will throw me a fish. ;)

    I feel though if someone's up there doing their best, it's nice to let them know you appreciate it whether anyone else does or not. And see, that all ties in to the motivational aspect of being recognised for what you're achieving that you just mentioned. The band got better the happier they were. :D
     
  14. Fergal

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    Exactly Kay, I've always maintained that recognition is the most important element in motivation.
     
  15. scifi

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    Sharing a joyous moment also spreads happiness among all who treasure it...
    While I was reading some posts of Fergal & Kay, I felt happy from within because of moments that they have shared with all here in this forum...

    I think, like it is memories of joyous moments & time spend with friends ,make distance an insignificant barrier to feel happy & good!!!
     
  16. Fergal

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    Thanks Scifi, feel free to share any joyous moments in our Good News Thread.

    They say that owning a dog helps to make you happy. The dog is always happy to see you when you get home. Research shows that dog owners are generally happier than non dog owners.
     
  17. Nazreen

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    This thread has gone from happy friends, manga and comics, and then to dogs. :)

    I think that bringing happiness is really what makes dogs man's and woman's best friend. The best quality of dogs that we should try to emulate is living in the present. You might have ignored your dog or shooed it away now but 10 minutes later when you say "here boy", he'll come happily with tails wagging. Just try doing that to your best friend and see what happens.
     
  18. Fergal

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    Dogs are great, if only people were as loyal.

    Another tip I've heard for being happy is to keep a gratitude journal. The idea is to write in it regularly and update it with things you are grateful for.
     
  19. Nazreen

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    A gratitude journal huh? Hmmm... even though that's the first time I've heard of it, I think it's a good idea. I think it's human nature to always want what you don't have and forget about the things that we already have. Having a gratitude journal would be a great help in curing this habit and make us be truly grateful of our wonderful blessings.
     
  20. Kay

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    Another version of the gratitude journal is to write down on small slips of paper everything you're grateful for and have been grateful for in life up till now right from when you were a kid. Then you put them in a jar and on your down days, you pull one out at random. I like that idea a lot. Reminds you of the blessings you've had throughout your life and the simplest of pleasures you enjoyed, like getting that bike you wanted for your birthday. :D

    You can also make one with motivational sayings or a version for mum with nice family quotations in it or notes about positive childhood memories. It's a pretty flexible idea. :)
     

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