Gathered at the Tripod Rock with my friends and colleagues for a hiking adventure in the Pyramid Mountain along the wooded trail, I noticed how difficult it was for Fred who is a great thinker and philosopher otherwise, to blend with the group. I kept wondering what it was that kept him aloof. Though he was participating in the conversation and was most informed one in the group of hikers about the trail map we were following.
What I observed was that he did not laugh as much. His smile was measured, never reaching his eyes.
The 4 mile hike took us 3 hours, with several stops, including a snack stop at Lucy’s Lookout. I decided to talk to him. I could see tired lines on his face and asked him how his health was. He said, “Bob, I guess it’s the retirement blues and the shrink has prescribed me 2 aspirins and a dopamine pill at bedtime, lately, which has affected my stamina.”
I was taken aback as Fred is the one who always talked me out of my lows. I suggested him to change the prescription with a simple medicine which will ensure a renewed spurt of fresh energy and induce the happy hormone, dopamine. He smiled and asked, “And what’s that dear Bob?”
“2 seconds of laughter!” I answered and he laughed. Laughter promotes physical and psychological health. Laugh out loud and ignore little follies.
Laughter is an icebreaker. It’s essential to take life easy. Humor serves as societal glue among people binding groups together. Science of Happiness proves that intentional acts of kindness, gratitude and laughter engage us and bring pleasure and meaning to our lives. Spending time with friends, children and pets releases the happy hormone.
One of the hikers came huffing and puffing towards us. He was overweight and was breathless by now. We helped him sit and relax. He said wearily, “If I keep climbing, I will lose the extra pounds.” Fred looked amused and said jokingly, “There’s only one place where you can attain your desired weight.” “Where?” asked the hiker, “On the moon!” replied Fred comically and we all busted out laughing.
The group joined us in the laugh and soon our tiredness dissolved and we were ready to move on. The spring effect on the mountain was mesmerizing, beautiful flowers weaved majestically across the slopes opened up a new vista.
Life is good when we are open to the experiences and have the ability to laugh away our pains. April in Latin means “to open”, so open up to more fun this month, it is the humor month. Cheer your buddies.
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