Sneeze a little happiness

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my Mum had taken a bit of a tumble, badly smashing her elbow.

I’m relieved to report that she’s now out of hospital having had a replacement elbow joint fitted by the brilliant people at Wycombe Hospital (thanks Mr. Taylor and team).

Of course it’s going to take a while before she’s completely back to normal, but her spirits are excellent.

She’s making great progress.

When we spoke recently, Mum told me about a conversation she had with a nurse while in hospital.


They were talking about what I guess you might call “emotional infection”, which came up as they discussed the positive mood that Mum had experienced in her small six–bed ward, a lot of which was down to Mum’s own upbeatness, I suspect.

The nurse explained that just one patient can affect all the others in a big way.

When there’s a positivity “sneezer” there, the atmosphere becomes charged with good energy.

However, the opposite can be true when there’s a persistent complainer in one of the beds.

When I’ve been in one of my low mood funks, I’ve rarely found it helpful to spend too much time in the company of others who were also low (and who wanted the world to know it).

Of course, neither was it great to be around people who were, perhaps artificially, super upbeat.

Where I found most comfort was with others who “got” that I wasn’t great, but were themselves happy to let me be alongside them as life carried on more or less normally.

Now I do of course appreciate that we’re all different.

Your connection needs might be very unlike my own.

But I think it’s worth remembering this principle of emotional contagion.

Perhaps there are times when it would help us all to catch a little happiness.

3 thoughts on “Sneeze a little happiness

  1. Today’s MOODNUDGE and the title resonated strongly with me as my husband has a ‘man’ cold and is so very miserable. It is certainly affecting me living in the same space with him as he does not suffer in silence!

  2. Good morning
    I go out of my way to avoid work colleagues who complain all the time. I was once subjected to a 2 day business trip with someone who moaned the whole time. What a nightmare….these people should be avoided at all costs ! On a positive note miserable people make me realise that I’m actually super optimistic and positive…great kick back

  3. That’s a very interesting comment, Jon, and one which I believe in too. I find the company of relaxed people helps me be jokey with them, and vice versa. I like nothing better than a good old laugh and a giggle. It keeps things in perspective.

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