I don't know what is happening to me, but I am smiling all the time. It's almost like I cannot wipe the smile off my face anymore. Everywhere I look there is life to be noticed: I sit on a log watching ants, I fly with the butterflies, the yellow summer wheat dancing in the wind makes me sway with joy. The blue corn flowers smile back at me, reflecting the blue sky overhead. The wild cherries growing on the edge of a field are the sweetest, juiciest cherries I have ever tasted! The world is so beautiful!
The daily mental training is clearly working. I am being brainwashed. And I like it. "I am ill and I hate my endometriosis" becomes "a small part of me is currently not well, but the vast majority of my body's cells work absolutely fine and I'm grateful for that". The dead end of pain I had lived in becomes a vast sea of possibilities for improvement. If you hit rock bottom, things can only get better. And I am starting to feel so much better!
One of our favorite classes is "laughing yoga". I had never heard of it and if you walked into a room of people practicing it without knowing what was going on you would definitely think you had accidentally entered a lunatic asylum. People walking around in a circle laughing their heads off. At nothing in particular.
Apparently our brain cannot distinguish between a fake and a real smile. Just moving the edges of your mouth upwards into a smile triggers a response from your brain: it releases endorphins into your blood stream. Happiness hormones. Try it while you read this. Smile and see how it changes how you feel pretty much instantly.
Laughing yoga is based on this automatic happiness response. You basically just laugh. Little shy laughs, full blown belly laughs, hahaha, huhuhu, hihihi. Very quickly you don't pretend to laugh anymore, but you actually laugh at the silliness of it all. Then everyone laughs and eventually you laugh so much you can hardly stop. Afterwards you realise that all that totally absurd silliness makes you feel like you've just taken a whole load of happiness drugs. There is a lightness inside that makes you feel free. Free to just be. It is addictive. I want to feel like that all the time!
It it really this easy to be happy? Maybe "fake it till you make it" does work. Practicing happiness through all these mental exercises we do - positive affirmations, positive rephrasing of everything we say, meditations, visualisations, laughing yoga - seems to actually result in us all becoming happier. Can "practice makes perfect" even work for happiness? It seems to...