If you’re happy and you (don’t) know it

website - ashley bergmanAs television provides further concerns about viruses and disheartening news regarding international affairs, it is really difficult to feel optimistic about the day ahead. Although the lives enduring the negativity are real, the power of the media is so strong that it appears to affect our mood and eventually our health as well. How can one remember to turn off the tube and practice gratitude?

The first step is to smile and find a source that brings laughter. Laughter can dramatically decrease as relationships and people age. However, studies have shown that smiling and laughter have proven to be beneficial for one’s mood, health, work ethic and relationships. It has been previously noted that our bodies are a system with subsystems inside all working together to promote optimal health and functionality. Therefore, showing off a smile can greatly impact and systemically impact one’s mood and reap health benefits. Laughter can establish, or restore, a positive emotional climate and increase a sense of connection to others.

Some may have concerns that smiling and finding a source of laughter may be difficult. This is common among our demographic with the continued experiences of trauma, trial and tribulation. However, if an individual is on the discovery of finding that source of happiness and laughter, perhaps starting with practicing gratitude, as Dr. Brene Brown would suggest, would be a start.

It is recognized that simply smiling and laughing may not take our problems away, nor is it intended to be a Band-Aid to help one distract oneself from their wounds. However, with the acceleration of anxiety and depression, individuals may forget to remember to smile, laugh, and practice gratitude. Because to fully experience joy and happiness, one must practice gratitude.

Ashley Bergman, B.S. Professional Counseling/MFT
Graduate Student Therapist

ashley.janszencounseling@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Topics and subjects that pertain to any individual(s) is coincidental.The content of this article does not constitute mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment or support. Please consult a mental health practitioner if you would like to seek counseling.

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