Happiness Choice

One of the most rewarding and profound realizations I’ve had is also the most intimidating: I am solely responsible for my experience of life. Wow. Every time I ponder this I get a rush of excited empowerment, followed by a wave of fear. The repercussions of this fact are huge! On the one hand, that means extreme joy, abundance and connection are right here, available to me at all times. I just need to choose it. On the other hand, it means I have to take responsibility and be accountable for how I show up, in every moment. (ugh) It’s constantly up to me to make the happiness choice.

While we don’t always have control over the “bad” situations we find ourselves in (traffic, confrontation, illness, depression, etc) we DO have control over how we show up in those instances. And it is during challenging times, when we remember that our life experience is our choice, that we truly get to appreciate our power and its profound impact on our existence. For instance, if I stub my toe getting out of bed in the morning, I can let that experience negatively impact the rest of my day, or I can choose otherwise, and have a fantastic day. If I’m feeling down, I can wallow in it, or I can acknowledge my feelings and still make a concerted effort to shift my mood, or get additional help and support.

Are you taking responsibility for your own happiness? Are you stuck in a rut, handling life the same way you always have? Are you ready to experience some tools to help you show up more positively, thus creating a more positive life experience as a whole? I have 2 words for you: Laughter Wellness.

A little back-story

I grew up as an all-star sports player and honor student. I even graduated Summa Cum Laude from college. Yet I still spent the majority of my life as a very shy, pessimistic person, always doubting myself, valuing other people’s opinions over my own, and expecting the worst so I’d never be disappointed. Sounds crazy, right? (I mean, I’m a talented and smart person after all!) Well, not surprisingly, that’s the view of life I experienced over and over: negative, uncertain, invisible. And every time something appeared to go wrong, I would say to myself, “See? I knew it wouldn’t work out,” constantly reinforcing my negative outlook.

Sure, I had heard about the “woo woo” positive thinking stuff but never thought it really worked, and it certainly wouldn’t work for me. It was exactly this type of negative thinking, an insidious evil, that prevented me from breaking free of its grasp for so long.

It wasn’t until I delved into Laughter Wellness that I was able to make a lasting change. For me, it was a playful gateway to happiness and optimism. It pushed my buttons of self-consciousness and pressed my boundaries of vulnerability in a safe yet gentle way. It highlighted for me something that, deep down, I always knew — that laughter was a release for me and I would subconsciously seek it out by watching Funniest Home Videos.

Laughter helps you make the happiness choice

Beyond the act of laughing, Laughter Wellness provides incredible benefits and opportunities for growth. We practice laughing, for no reason, simply because we choose to. And this alone has empowered me and helped me choose to shift my mood on bad days, helping me choose to have a good day instead. It’s not always easy, that’s for sure. But at least I know I have the choice at my disposal.

We also practice showing up, in all our playful glory, creating a safe place for others to do the same. We use positive affirmations to remind us how powerful and awesome we are. We engage in fun, playful activities as well as mindful awareness. And with all this, we create uplifting connection and community, rewiring our neural pathways for a more optimistic approach to life. And if all this weren’t enough, the laughter and breathing provide a plethora of health benefits.

change the way you look at things

I have seen some pretty amazing transformations of students who attend a laughter session, myself included. Tired, blank stares are replaced with wide-eyed smiles. Slow, shuffled feet become a flurry of happy toes, movin’ and groovin’ to their own beat, stepping outside their comfort zone or tip-toeing over an imaginary obstacle. Over and over, I’ve heard people comment on how good they feel after a class and how great it is that we can go from a circle of strangers to an uplifted and connected group within the span of an hour.

Personally, the simple practice of choosing to laugh has had wonderfully positive effects that ripple through my entire life. I have become much more confident, positive and outgoing. Life is brighter and full. Of course I have bad days. Laughter Wellness doesn’t prevent them from occurring. What it does do, however, is help me to be more resilient and provide the tools for me to be better able to RESPOND to life rather than react. The more I practice making the happiness choice, the more natural and automatic it becomes. On the whole, I find joy much easier to come by on a daily basis now. And I laugh, full-on belly laugh, A LOT.

Join us for a class and get on your way to making the happiness choice every day!

 

By | 2017-05-26T17:28:22+00:00 April 19th, 2016|happiness, inspiration, mental health|0 Comments

About the Author:

Karen has dual certification as both a “Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher,” trained by Jeffrey Briar, as well as “Certified Laughter Wellness Instructor,” trained by Sebastien Gendry, the founder of Laughter Wellness. Karen's excitement and passion for utilizing laughter for health & wellness shines through in each class. Her light-hearted, playful approach is welcoming to newcomers as well as seasoned laughers.