The next time you feel the urge to move to another city, or even another part of the city you currently reside, you may want to consult your BFF.
But before we get to the “why” of this statement, consider for a moment that a recent-ish poll found that only one-third of Americans reported being happy in 2017. That’s depressing.
The findings reveal that we’re all basically a bunch of stressed-out, lonely, overworked and unsatisfied people. But, as Best Life reminds us, we can all take comfort in the words of Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He says there is another reason we’re unhappy and it has nothing to do with how terrible we all are.
According to Dolan, those who live within a mile of a close friend are 25 percent more likely to feel happy than those who don’t. As Dolan writes in his book, Happiness By Design, people around us are way bigger influences than we think:
We are wired, automatically and unconsciously, to mimic and absorb the emotions of others around us… Since other people matter so much to your behavior and happiness, the proximity of your family and friends is something to take into account when thinking about a new job or place to live. A basic starting question for any locational decision should be, ‘Where do the people who contribute most to my happiness live?’
But just because you live close to your bestie doesn’t mean you are automatically going to get happy. Instead, your happiness stems from the act of going to visit.
As Best Life summarizes, “having a friend who you see on most days boosts your sense of well-being by the same amount as earning an extra $100,000 a year.
That seems a little incredible, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with being close to someone who, if nothing else, can provide a shoulder to cry on when you realize how unhappy you are.