Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Friendships Among Women - Being a HAPPY Friend

We are continuing on in our series on Friendships Among Women - We are looking at 5 tips to improve your friendships. So here is step 2:

2. Be a Happy and Positive Person:
In a study that looked at the happiness of nearly 5000 individuals over a period of twenty years, researchers found that when an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person's happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only their friends, but their friends' friends, and their friends' friends' friends. The effect lasts for up to one year.

These effects are limited by both time and space. The closer a friend lives to you, the stronger the emotional contagion. But as distance increases, the effect dissipates.

So be a Tigger not an Eeyore friend - According to the study people are 15% more likely to be happy if a friend is happy, 10% more likely to be happy if a friend of a friend is happy, and 6% more likely if to be happy if a friend of a friend of a friend is happy. In other words, be a happy person and you will affect all those around you especially your friends and your family.

Remember "happiness is a choice" and you will find even in the most difficult of circumstances you can stay mostly happy and positive. Now I realize we all have times of grief and for periods of time and times of crisis and tragedy that is normal and healthy but what we are talking about here are the everyday challenges of life. For some of us those everyday challenges are very big but we still have a choice as to how we react to those times.

One of the best gifts we can give our friendships is a happy and positive attitude. It will make you a person that people want to be with and your attitude will spread to your friends giving them a higher degree of happiness.

Happiness and being positive is a learned behavior. I spent years being a negative person, complaining and discontent. It was actually during the worst times of my life that I finally realized that I do have a choice to be happy and that my circumstances do not have to dictate my moods and my attitudes. Of course, I believe it was God that has given me the peace and the happiness that I can now most of the time live my life in but as with most things in life, WE have to take the first step and do our part before God can do His. So I had to choose to speak positively, I had to choose to trust God and to put my trust and hope in Him, I had to choose to be happy in the morning when I woke up and realized all the difficult things in my life were still there. At first it's hard but then after time it become a habit and it becomes part of your thinking process.

Again, we all have time we need to vent and get our feelings out - so do that - talk it out with a friend, journal your feelings but then get up and choose to be happy.

Ecclesiastes 3:12
I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your optimism is ontageous and a gift to our world. Keep spreading you light and joy.
Carolyn Reynolds