And yet for me, and for most of us, happiness can be elusive some days--despite having good health, supportive family and friends, and a stimulating and flexible job. Some days I am overwhelmed by negative emotions: worry, frustration, anger, disappointment, guilt, envy, regret. I know I should be happy. I know I have every reason to be, and that I’m better off than most. Still, when I’m in a bad mood, it’s hard to break out of it.
But I almost always can by taking a laughter pill. "We don't laugh because we're happy, we're happy because we laugh" said philosopher and psychologist William James. Whether I use laughter as a distraction, to cheer myself up, or as a practice to energize myself, laughing impacts every part of me. In many ways it's the ultimate drug, with no harmful side-effects.
Laughter makes me feel like a "normal" person on those days when I feel lost in the universe and overwhelmed. It helps me reconnect to the NOW.