From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat
A little ray of sunshine can go pretty far after all. Researchers say one person’s happiness can trigger a chain reaction through social groups that can raise the happiness even of people that person didn’t know.
James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego and colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that in data on almost 5,000 people over 20 years. They say the joy can be spread from one person to another and yet another – although three people is about where the chain peters out.
However, says Fowler “Because we are connected, our health is connected. One of the amazing things about the study is that, you influence people who you may never have even met.’’
The study in the British medical journal BMJ was supported by the National Institutes of Health.