The Happy Song. I’d be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn’t admit that at the very least Pharell’s latest song, though different, is catchy. For the majority of us, when we hear the happy song we want to dip low, double clap or snap our fingers, grab a best friend or two and get lost in being “happy.”
I personally love this song because Pharell’s intention is to start a movement. (If you don’t believe me check out the 24-hour version of the video at 24hoursofhappy.com.) My question for you is, can happiness really be a movement??
The Happiness Movement. I say, yes of course it can, because happiness is infectious. Try passing a complete stranger today, cracking a smile and see what happens next. Nine times out of ten, they will spontaneously respond back with a full, genuine smile, even if no words are exchanged. This happens even if you don’t speak the same language, because the experience of happiness is universal. With the ability to so easily infect others with smiles, we can all just as easily be, “happy activists” (Yup, “happy activists”. Don’t forget, you heard it here first!) and be a part of the happiness movement.
There are other ways to induce happiness, and it all starts with a choice to be or to simply allow happiness.
Laughing Yoga. About a year ago with a women’s group I led an exercise in happiness yoga, which in and of itself, has become quite the craze. I’d heard about it, done some research but still felt like, “how am I going to ask these women to look each other in the eye and just laugh?” But I did! And it worked!
Laughing yoga is a technique started by a South African couple—the husband a doctor who kept seeing that happiness and laughter changed the mood and health outcomes of his patients and the wife a yoga practitioner.
In laughter yoga, after doing some simple stretches, you are asked to look someone in the eye (or yourself in the mirror, if you’re solo) and say, “ho ho ho, ha, ha, ha,” while clapping. Initially you will undoubtedly feel silly and question what in Sam hill is wrong with you that you’d try this! However, laughing yoga practitioners will tell you to “fake it ’til you make it.” Eventually the laughter will begin to flow from an inner place spontaneously. You only need to do this for 10-15 minutes to reap the benefits, though there are classes where people go as long as 45 minutes.
So why this technique or any other technique that will induce laughter and smiles? Well, because there’s research to substantiate that you cannot only alter your mood on purpose (& become happy, even if you previously were not), but you can affect your body and general well being. It bolsters your immune system, strengthens your abs, lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) and even lowers your blood pressure*. Negative emotions decrease by 27% and Positive emotions increase by 17%* with laughter yoga. If this is what happens on an individual level, imagine what happens to us as a collective. These are all grounds for a happiness movement.
“So clap along (or laugh along) if you feel like happiness is the truth.”
Frugalista’s, any of you try laughter yoga? Share your experiences?
Any of you love the Happy song? Tell us why.
[info_box type=”alert_box”]If you want to practice self-care, you have to care for your finances. My book, The Happy Finances Challenge, is designed to help you learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness in just 42 days. [/info_box]