I’ve actually often thought about what I’m about to speak of, because I’ve seen it in action too many times to deny it’s power. I’m talking about the power of our emotions and our outwardly presence as it applies to other’s happiness and mood. It may be a temporary thing, but just someone smiling at you in passing can make all the difference in your day.
A perfect example of what I’m talking about is your typical work day, no matter what your job is. Can you deny that a day that starts off badly usually also keeps going badly, and that it almost seems to be a self perpetuating and self fulfilling prophecy, if you let it be?
Sometimes I’ll go into work, and if everyone’s in a horrible grumpy mood and either ignores my eye contact or smile or even my hello in the morning on a Monday, I actually tend to withdraw more and stay in my own little world and perhaps feel more discontent with my job because of it.
However, if I go in to work on Monday morning and am greeted with smiles and acknowledgments by coworkers, magically, my day seems to start off better, I’m having better interactions with people, and I myself am spreading the “infection” of happiness and smiling around. It really is true that happiness and sadness or grumpiness are catching.
Studies have actually recently been done that show that both happiness and sadness have a sort of contagious factor to them. People who come into contact more with happy people tend to carry this feeling in themselves through the process of traferrence, as do people with sadness. Maybe this tends to explain why perpetually unsatisfied or crabby people alienate others or find themselves isolated.
The good news is that you can actually change not only how your own day goes, but you can also change how other’s days are going by smiling and treating others with respect and friendliness. It really is catching, and it gets some great karma going for both you and those you come in contact with.