Be a good friend – be happy, by Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo
Maybe you have heard the idea that happiness is contagious. Well, research proves it is. A study out of Harvard Medical School finds that the happiness of your friends AND your friends’ friends can influence how happy you are.
So, if you want your friends to be happy, address your own happiness.
What is so great about happiness?
Sure, it is nice to smile. But did you know that happiness actually has a positive impact on every part of your life including:
• Emotional health: happier people have less stress and depression; more hope and confidence
• Physical health: people who are happier have healthier immune systems (so they get sick less) and even lie longer
• Relationships: happier people are more thoughtful and loving to those around them
• Work: happier people are more productive, creative and successful at work
How can you be happier?
First, vaccinate yourself from “If Only Syndrome.”
What do I mean? See if any of these sounds familiar:
• “If only I get that promotion, THEN I’ll be happy.”
• “If only my friend calls me to go out, THEN I will be happy.
• “If only I lose 10 pounds, THEN I will be happy.”
Stop waiting for external circumstances to change. The good news about happiness is you can be happier RIGHT NOW. Even better news, when you are happier, you are more likely to achieve those goals (such as getting a promotion or date and even losing weight).
Second, embrace your AGE:
• A = Apply your values and strengths: be the person you want to be and do things you enjoy doing (rather than jut going through life on automatic pilot). This includes spending time with friends, rather than putting it off because you are too busy.
• G = Gratitude: focus on what you appreciate (people, experiences, things, accomplishments)
• E = Exercise. Research shows exercise improves your mood, gives you positive energy and boosts your self-confidence.
Be a happy you and your friends (and their friends) will be too!
BIO: Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD is a psychologist, physical therapist and author of the bestselling book “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.” She helps people create the lives they want to live. A media go-to person, Elizabeth has been interviewed by some of today’s top media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNN, NPR, Self, Glamour, Woman’s Day, Woman’s World and Cosmopolitan. Learn more about happiness and Dr. Elizabeth at http://www.ahappyyou.com/.