If You’re Happy and You Know it, Thank Your Friends

None of us are truly happy in isolation. Our personal emotions and health are directly related to our social circles and social interactions. This is an essential thing to consider in our health, given that at Intrinsic Care, we work with a lot of people who really want changes, but may be involved in environments that make it more challenging to actually make those changes.

 

This is one of the reasons why we do what we do at Intrinsic. Group adjustments in our spinal entrainment room, regular classes, community events, etc. help our clients reap the benefits of healing together in a community. As one person grows, heals, and overall becomes happier, their influence is spread across the entire group.

 

A 2008 study through Harvard Medical School and the University of California San Diego on happiness supports this idea. Professor Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler go on to prove that happiness seems to spread more robustly through social networks than sadness does. Although suffering and loneliness affect a social network, one person’s true happiness can actually trigger a chain reaction more effectively that permeates to that persons friends, friends’ friends, and so on for up to one year!

 

The study also went on to demonstrate how geography plays a role in happiness. Friends living next door were more influenced towards happiness than friends living a mile away. In other words, connecting with real live people in your community was what made the biggest influence.

 

“We’ve found that your emotional state may depend on the emotional experiences of people you don’t even know, who are two to three degrees removed from you,” says Christakis, “And the effect isn’t just fleeting.” Christakis continues, “This research adds further proof to the idea that because we are all interconnected in social networks, our health is [also] interconnected.”

 

Another study of over 2,500 people receiving Network Care demonstrated these findings as well. In addition to improved physical function and well-being, people in Network Care experienced improvement in positive feelings about themselves, less depression, more interest in life, increased feelings of openness when relating to others, improved quality of life in relation to their job, co-workers, personal life, romantic life, and more contentment with life itself.

 

In other words, they felt happier.

 

We know from the Harvard study that not only did THEY feel happier, but their friends, their friend’s friends, and their friend’s friend’s friends, etc. felt happier too!

 

We used to joke that we specialized in “attitude adjustments.” Well, we can honestly say it’s not a joke anymore! When you’re “well-adjusted,” entraining to YOUR natural rhythm, you feel better and everyone around you feels better too!

 

References

 

http://web.med.harvard.edu/sites/RELEASES/html/christakis_happiness.html

http://news.discovery.com/human/loneliness-contagious-social-networks.html

Wellness lifestyles II: Modeling the dynamic of wellness, health lifestyle practices, and Network Spinal Analysis
Schuster TL, Dobson M, Jauregui M, Blanks RH. Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. April 2004; 10(2):357-67. PMID: 15165417