You may have noticed by now that a lot of my writing revolves around the themes of Happiness and Joy. Congratulations, you win the award for figuring me out, but I do this consciously because it is my humble opinion that without Happiness, Joy and Laughter, life wouldn’t be worth living.
Let me elaborate. Even if you are having an insanely bad day, the kind where you have spilled your coffee, broken your heel, clipped a pole in the parking lot, wound up late to work, your boss is a jerk, people keep coming to you for updates on stuff you aren’t even working on and your cat puked in the kitchen and you stepped in it. (That’s a rough day!) Even if all that had happened, if you find something during or after all of this that makes you legitimately laugh, you will find that the troubles of the day tend to take on a lighter appearance. It has been proven time and again that the old adage is correct, “Laughter is the best medicine”. I say this in order to address the subject of this article.
Happiness, Joy and Laughter are a very potent combination. When used together, these emotions have all been linked to triggering the release of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Many events can trigger these neurotransmitters, but rather than being in the passenger seat, there are ways we can intentionally cause them to flow.
Being in a positive state (happy or joyful) has significant impact on our motivation, productivity, and well-being. No sane person would be opposed to having higher levels in those areas.
Each of these neurotransmitters have slightly different causes and effects on the body, but for brevity’s sake, we will just simply say that these hormones make us feel good.
“But Jay, I’ve laughed when I was so angry that I wanted to kill someone?”
That’s what is known as “Nervous Laughter”, Vilayanur Ramachandran, a well-known (because we’ve all heard that name, right?) neuroscientist said, “We have nervous laughter because we want to make ourselves think the horrible thing we encountered isn’t really as horrible as it appears, it’s something we want to believe.”
Robert Provine, wrote “Nervous laughter comes from the throat… and is not true laughter, but an expression of tension and anxiety. Instead of relaxing a person, nervous laughter tightens them up even further.”
It is only when you laugh from your heart and gut, that your body recognizes that it is time to release your happy hormones.
All that being said, how do you put yourself in a state where you are happy, joyful and laughing?
Before I answer that, let me explain that happiness and joy are two completely different things. A useful analogy is that Happiness is like the bubbles kids blow, fragile and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen those bubbles float through, ever present.
Happiness is always passing through. It can claim your full attention for the ten seconds it takes to swallow a sip of incredible coffee. Or it can stream through your being for weeks on end. But happiness can’t hold the same space as sadness, or anger, or the range of so-called “negative” emotions for very long. This is why it’s transitory.
Joy is the fiber of your Soul. It’s the stuff of your essence. And, since you (your Soul) can never be annihilated (yes, that would make you eternal and omnipresent), your access to joy never vanishes. Because joy is so important to your true being, every other state or emotion can rest on top of joy, it can accommodate everything.
Try your best to focus on being in a positive state as often as you can. Happiness, Joy and Laughter are completely free, can be summoned anywhere, anytime and for just about any reason. Start your day with a positive thought or a silly joke, the benefits are staggering. It has been concluded through scientific study that the first eight minutes set the tone for the entire day. Do you want to groan or complain, or would you rather try to set a positive, happy, joyful mood for your day to fall in?
Happiness, Joy and Laughter are very important parts of a good life. Take the time to stop and think about something funny and watch your day lighten up. Being in a positive state more often will not only affect you, but it will affect those around you also. It’s a win-win situation.
Also, if you act now, I am enrolling 1 more client for free coaching. This is a value of over $3,000.00. Just go to jedwardscoaching.com to get enrolled for coaching at no cost.
Thank you and have a great day!