When you see someone smiling, what emotion do you imagine he or she is experiencing? Is it safe to assume that person is happy? Sure it is. We humans associate smiling with happiness, and if we hang out with happy people, we can become happier as well.
One heart study has been following 4,700 people in Framingham, Mass., for the past 20 years. It's churned out all kinds of data, including a report that showed happiness is contagious. Happy people tend to be at the center of social networks that are made up of other happy people. As it turns out, the emotion appears to radiate and spread throughout the group.
The study also discovered that knowing another happy person increases your own happiness by 15.3 percent. It found that friends of the same gender top the list of potential happiness spreaders. So the next time you could use a happiness boost, find a friend in a good mood. Just be sure not to turn your friend into a Debbie Downer, too.