International day of happiness

Today has been earmarked as International Day of Happiness – something that seems strangely disingenuous considering the position the world finds itself in right now. 

We have been hard-pressed to find anything to laugh about over the past week. Those of us still working in cities are feeling stressed and afraid – travelling in is eerily quiet, many places are operating on a skeleton staff, everyone is afraid to touch door handles, to touch each other, to touch our own faces. There is a feeling of unease so thick and strong you can feel and almost taste it…

For those of us working at home it is the feeling of disconnect that is most unsettling. With rolling news and social media giving a constant feed of hit-and-misinformation it’s hard to know where the truth begins and urban myths end. Rumours are rife, facts are skewed and the truth is more frightening than fiction. I’m not the only one feeling like we are somehow living in a bad movie that I’d personally like to switch off and delete. There is a horrible feeling that nothing will ever be the same again.

Yesterday I did something that a few weeks ago would have felt natural and normal, but this time felt off-the-scale in it’s other-worldliness. I sat with a girlfriend, gossiped about her scandalous love-life and laughed until tears ran down may face. When I say laughed, I mean we roared… It was over nothing; she handed me her mobile to do something and I looked at it confused and said: “You’ve only got an iPhone 7?” We stared at each other, and then burst into the kind of laughter where you can’t breathe, your face hurts, your jaw hurts, your stomach hurts and like a kid at the back of the classroom knowing the teacher is giving you the evil eye you just can’t stop. We howled… 

Why is this such a big deal?

Because I felt like I hadn’t laughed in forever. And I weirdly felt guilty about it. 

But I shouldn’t have. None of us should. Times are scary and horrible and laughing is the number one thing that we need to do to help us get through it. To release our cortisol-filled bodies from the teeth-clenching stress and worry about everything we are living through; this moment in history that one day our grandchildren will learn about in school and we will be telling them how it felt to experience it first-hand.

On this Day of Happiness let’s all find positive ways to look after ourselves and each other. 

We all get tickled by different things, sometimes those things aren’t even funny – where’s the humour in an iPhone 7 for goodness sake? So today find your sense of the ridiculous, remind yourself that it’s still there. There are countless films and memes doing the rounds right now if you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, so get whatever phone you have (7 or otherwise!) and go goofball hunting… 

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