According to science, the best way to boost your happiness is to be very picky about who you spend time with.
Choosing the right friends is important because it causes your brainwaves to resemble those who are constantly around you. This means you start becoming alike, pick up their behaviours and ways of seeing the world without even realising it.
This discovery was made by Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University who has been studying decision-making for over a decade. He revealed that happiness has little to do with experiences, material goods, or personal philosophy — it’s all about the company you keep.
His neuroscience research has found that when two people are in each other’s company, their brain waves will begin to look nearly identical.
“The more we study engagement, we see time and again that just being next to certain people actually aligns your brain with them,” based on their mannerisms, the smell of the room, the noise level, and many other factors, Cerf said.
“This means the people you hang out with actually have an impact on your engagement with reality beyond what you can explain. And one of the effects is you become alike.”
Researchers have previously suggested this ‘neural coupling’ is a key part of communication. If you are on the same wavelength as someone else, you can anticipate what they might say and therefore understand them better.
This in turn has an evolutionary advantage as it means we work better and faster as a team.