Have you ever noticed how your mood can shift when you're around children playing and giggling? Or when you're hanging out with happy and optimistic friends?
An article by journalist Bhava Ram cites a study by the British Medical Journal in conjunction with scientists from Harvard University and UC San Diego that shows that happiness spreads through social networks. The study showed that knowing someone who's happy makes you 15.3 percent more likely to be happy yourself. And even a happy friend of a friend increases your chances of happiness by 9.8 percent.
Ram also cites research by the late Dr. Candace Pert, a neuroscientist and pharmacologist who identified what she called the "molecules of emotion." Ram said she "documented how our thoughts create an inner chemistry that either agitates and imbalances us, or helps us to heal and enter states of inner peace, calmness, and happiness."
That brings me back to what I often write in these blogs about making sure our environment supports our happiness and well-being. Make a choice to be positive and joyful, insofar as you are able to do so. I understand full well that clinical depression and other medical situations can change that. Live in gratitude. Surround yourself with positive people. Tune off negative radio and TV shows. Listen to inspirational music and talk shows. Expect good things and look for the miracles and beauty that always are there if we but notice them.