“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s long been said that laughter is the best medicine and, although the sentiment behind this age-old adage is by its very nature rather sweet, the science on laughter actually stacks up.
Not only does laughter decrease stress hormones and increase both immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, improving your resistance to disease, it also triggers the release of our natural ‘feel-good’ chemicals – endorphins. These handy little hormones promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve pain.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on happiness recently, not because those around me are bouncing off the walls with happiness, but because I have seen the people around me not give way to unhappiness.
You see, happiness isn’t just about the external manifestation of what we consider as ‘happy’, it also enables us to get through some of the most trying situations without allowing them to break us.
According to the Dalai Lama, relying on external forces to determine your mood is a sure-fire way to failure if it’s sustainable, long term happiness you’re after. And, since we can’t control the weather, others’ actions or toddlers (yes, I have two of them!), it might be time to take charge of what we can control – how we react to all of the above.
After all, as Gabriel García Márquez once said, “No medicine cures what happiness cannot” and I can’t think of a life philosophy I’d rather live by.