Fortunately, the emotional cause-and-effect seemed to be a one-way street: depressed individuals exerted no negative influence on their healthy friends.
However, there is an evident paradox here, in which the individuals most likely to benefit from the cheering impact of time spent with healthy companions are also the most likely to self-segregate, thereby denying themselves an opportunity for exposure to those with more positive outlooks.
The message, then, is not only that the depressed should seek happiness in the glow of others, but also that healthy friends should do their part to uplift their struggling loved ones, even if doing so simply entails spending more time with them.
In any case, it's encouraging to learn that contagion can be a force for good, as long as it's joy that's being spread.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
From a report discussing the benefits of being around happy people: