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Hang out with happy people and you’re likely to be happy, too. In fact, findings from a new study suggest that being around happy people boosts your spirits even more than a financial windfall.
For the study, investigators from Harvard and the University of California, San Diego, tracked more than 4,700 people who participated in the 20-year Framingham Heart Study, each of whom completed a questionnaire about their happiness. Results showed that happy people tended to be at the center of social networks and were likely to have many friends who were happy. They also showed that having friends or siblings nearby boost your chances of being happy – and that all this happiness really is contagious: it spreads outwards by three degrees to friends of friends.
The investigators calculated that each happy friend you have increases your chances of being happy by nine percent while having downbeat friends reduces your shot at happiness by seven percent. Happiness isn’t just a state of mind: it has a protective effect on the immune system