There is alot of talk and media around happiness, but what is happiness really?
In laughter yoga we learn how happiness is more of an emotional response to a situation or experience or in getting something, where as JOY can be more of a state of being throughout which we can still allow a variety of emotions to flow through us.
Dr Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga teaches that there are four elements to JOY. They are laughing, playing, dancing and singing. And the more we incorporate these 4 elements into our lives the more JOY we will experience.
A friend of mine who participated in a shamanic personal development program shared a story I really related to about the importance of JOY for our health and wellbeing from ancient cultures...
He told me that they had learnt that in shamanic cultures, when a person in the village was ill and would go to the village medicine man or woman (or doctor), in many cases before prescribing anything to the patient after hearing their ailments the ‘doctor’ would ask them four questions.
“When was the last time you laughed?”, “When was the last time you played?”, “When was the last time you danced?”, “When was the last time you sang?”...
If the patient couldn’t answer the questions or when asked, realised they hadn’t done these for a long time they were sent away and told to return only once they had laughed, played, danced and sung... And often, once completing the tasks (or shall we say, integrating the four elements of joy into their lives) there was then no need for the person to return!
Some of us have been taught that these things are childish, that there isn’t space to indulge in things like this as adults, that we should be serious... bla bla bla.. When in actual fact laughing, dancing, playing and singing are elements integral to our health, wellbeing and JOY!
Don’t believe me, then try it out for yourself... Ask yourself honestly how long since you’ve really laughed, played, danced or sung? Not just for show, but in a way that YOU really feel it, celebrate it and is truly YOU.
Is these a once in a blue moon experience for you or a daily practice?
So, is it time you cultivated more JOY in YOUR life?