Ever heard the concept of “6 degrees of separation?”
It seems that the same principle also works on the subject “friendship and happiness,” particularly in boosting another person’s joyfulness.
The only difference is a person’s ability to influence a friend to be happy only stretches up to 3 degrees.
Nonetheless, the message is clear.
There is a significant link between friendship and happiness—one which is easily demonstrated by a study conducted by two prominent educational institutions.
A Person’s Happiness Can Trigger a Chain Reaction Beneficial to Their Friends and Beyond
This is proven in a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard Medical School.
In the study, it was found that happiness is not only achieved through a cloistered journey.
Your network of friends and their happiness also have a huge effect on yours.
This is demonstrated from the figures presented in the study.
Another aspect stressed in the study, aside from the significance between friendship and happiness, is that popularity may, in fact, result in happiness as opposed to what most believe and are taught.
This is supported by the data stating that people who are in the centre of a network of friends are also those who tend to feel happier.
If they are surrounded by a lot of happy friends, then the odds of them becoming happier is even further increased just as it would to those surrounding them.
Therefore, it can be concluded that your friends have a huge role to play in your happiness.
However, it does not mean that you need to surround yourself with a lot of them.
What truly counts for you to start becoming happy is to have happy friends as well.
This is when a chain reaction of happiness will begin and spread through your network.
So with that, it would help for you to remember that:
- Humans Will Always be Social Creatures.
Even the most self-reliant people need to bond with others not just to survive, but also to thrive.
If you will notice, that’s one advantage that people with close and strong relationships with their family and friends have apart from being the happiest people in the crowd.
- Size Does Not Matter.
What matters is you should nurture a network of those people whom you are close to.
That’s because as what researchers have stated, people can benefit from the same boost of happiness regardless of how large or small their network of friends is.
- Social Skills are Learned.
Therefore, it does not matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert.
You can develop your social skills anytime you like and be as outgoing, popular, and happy as any extrovert in no time.
How Can You Work on That?
Friendship and happiness are two of the most important things that people always seek to build and find in this world.
As stated above, one plays a vital role in achieving the other.
Keep in Touch with Your Friends
Want to feel happier while making others happy?
All it takes is a small gesture to accomplish that.
You can send them postcards when travelling, greet them on their birthdays, or email an old photo of you and them.
Even a simple “Hi” sent through a text message is already a good start in bringing that happiness.
Don’t Keep to Yourself
Researchers found that individuals tend to feel happier when they are around other people instead of simply keeping to themselves.
The “boost” effect that it even brings is the same for both extroverts and introverts.
Apart from making a person feel happier, being around others makes people more sociable, pleasant, and helpful, which is perhaps one of the ways that happiness is brought to others.
Be a Part of a Group or a Community
Since people are social creatures, among the things instilled in their minds is the need to be part of something much larger than themselves.
That is why it will certainly benefit you if you join a group or community where you can build friendships and further boost your happiness.
It is also a good idea to consider if you want to achieve that sense of identity, which is one of the keys to establishing your happiness.
Being a part of a group is also good for your health.
Researchers found that it aids in reducing the risk of stress-related health problems and mental illness.
Joining a group has also been found to help in quickly recovering from an illness or trauma.
Friendships Not Only Boost Happiness, But also Health
It’s been established that friends are significant in achieving happiness.
In reality, however, happiness is just the start of those benefits.
With your friends around, you also get to enjoy the following along the way:
A Confidant Whom You Can Turn To
People chat with their buddies all the time.
However, at some point, you will need someone with whom you can have some serious conversations.
That’s one important role that friends play.
As what research shows, people who often have such conversations are also those with the highest level of well-being.
The fact that people can find someone they can talk to among their friends significantly helps in reducing the stress they feel.
Improvement in Your Overall Health
This benefit is true in several ways.
Conversely, those who tend to keep to themselves are likely to feel lonely, which also increases their risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.
Most important of all, friends help make people feel more optimistic.
With such a positive way of thinking, a person is better able to enjoy the health benefits of having a strong network of friends.
So, it is not a wonder now what friends can do to enable people to live longer.