Emotions are contagious; worries are transferred from daughter to mother, giggling is infectious and one person's negativity can ruin a whole evening. The phrase 'I feel your pain' is often very true; if someone upsets my sister, they upset me too, and I know it's the same for my mum so god knows how she coped with two hormonal monsters during our teens (total mum respect). Watching a sad film, whilst cathartic, really doesn't make you feel any happier. Whereas a romantic comedy is bound to turn that frown upside down (no, 'Marley and me' does not come under the 'romcom' genre).
A couple of days ago I contracted happiness when I jumped into my boyfriend's cloud nine success bubble. He was offered a fantastic job: exciting, great team of people and impressive starting salary. His feelings of elation, relief to finally launch his career, and joy at being able to chill out in his free time rather than job hunt, seeped through my skin. So much so that I had to prize the celebratory bubbly out of my hand and remind myself that I'm not the one who bagged the dream job (yet!!). I didn't experience an ounce of job envy (ok, maybe a tiny bit on my way to complete a hectic split shift at the pub). More than anything I was proud, excited, and soaking up his happiness like a dry sponge.
Although surrounding yourself with purely upbeat, positive people, is probably an unreachable goal, do make sure you spend some time with the people who can make you smile and feel like the world is your oyster. Try not to get dragged down by other people's negativity. Channel your inner Mr Cheerful and when you pass someone in the street, offer them a cheery grin; smiles are as contagious as yawns! (warning, this may not work on the streets of London)