If you’re feeling great today, you may end up inadvertently spreading the joy to someone you don’t even know.
New research shows that in a social network, happiness spreads among people up to three degrees removed from one another. That means when you feel happy, a friend of a friend of a friend has a slightly higher likelihood of feeling happy too.
The lesson is that taking control of your own happiness can positively affect others, says James Fowler, co-author of the study and professor of political science at the University of California in San Diego.
“We get this chain reaction in happiness that I think increases the stakes in terms of us trying to shape our own moods to make sure we have a positive impact on people we know and love,” he said.
And… don’t forget to smile online!