Study: Happiness Is Contagious
I saw this CNN article about the contagious nature of happiness amongst social groups, via Steve Hargadon’s blog.
I first thought of my experience as a teacher. Particularly in a classroom setting, I saw the impact of my attitude and demeanor on my student. We definitely had the most productive learning days when I was in a positive mood or made the choice to be in a positive mood because I knew it was what was best for my students. Students generally responded to my enthusiasm and excitement with their own, greatly improving the quality of our limited time together.
Hargadon applied the study to online social networks, and I think he’s accurate in identifying the overlapping influences of attitude in both on and offline social networks. As continue the push to make PlumbBrain a reality, this is another great reminder about the power of a few people to positively impact others.
I once questioned one of my fellow camp counselors on her unwavering compassion and cheerfulness. She turn to me and said, “well you know Amy, attitude is a choice.” Such a simple concept, but it is reflective of her profound understanding of her ability to impact the experience of our young campers by choosing to look on the bright side of things. *cue Spamalot’s “Always look on the bright side of life,” because I couldn’t resist!*
This isn’t to encourage readers to approach all aspects of their lives as they would sunshine and puppy dogs (or kittens for you non-canine adoring), but there is an important take home message about the power we have to affect the lives of others by how we choose to perceive our own. Consider making a choice to reflect a positive attitude the next time you’re feeling less than chipper before an in-person meeting or online posting. You never know how many people you might infect!