Imagine a typical visit to your doctor’s office. You leave work one hour early with an inbox full of e-mails that need your attention now. You arrive at the physician’s check-in counter 15 minutes early for your appointment, but anticipate an additional 45 minutes in the waiting room. There is a very young girl fighting with her mom in the waiting room and you wish she would be quiet. The mom eventually provides the girl with a tablet and it’s finally silent, so you respond to some of those e-mails. All of sudden, you hear a loud giggle from the little girl and she tells her mom about a funny part of the movie she is watching on her tablet. She can’t stop laughing and you start laughing too because her giggles are contagious. The laughter wiped away all of your irritants, stress, and frustrations. Consequently, you feel cheerful, energized, and reset in your outlook.
Happiness is contagious and can catch you at the most unexpected moments. You can create happiness for yourself as well as be influenced by the happiness of others. Think about when you smiled at the baby sitting across from you on the subway or when you noticed the squirrels playing on a tree during your morning jog. As you take notice of these moments, you acquire positive experiences that can reduce stress and refocus your attitude.