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By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

BflyThey’re not kidding when they say laughter is contagious. Just think back to the last time you really laughed. No, a quiet chuckle under your breath doesn’t qualify; I’m talking about real deep-in-the-gut laughter that makes you forget about all the lousy things going on in your life. The kind of laughter that for an instant makes everything seem simple and carefree. When was the last time you experienced a natural high like that?

Laughter is the ultimate escape from the high-drama, success-driven world in which we live. Once you experience the overwhelming positive effects of true, spontaneous laughter, you will begin to seek it out daily. It only takes once or twice to get hooked. You will crave laughter. You will become addicted to it. Pretty soon, you will rearrange your day to be around people who enable you to experience it. Laughter will become the drug that gets you through your day – and that’s a good thing!

Genuine, unscripted laughter is a healthy kind of release that we as humans crave to help us balance out the negative aspects of our lives. Laughter is the positive lens that lets us see the humor and happiness in our disappointments. Allowing ourselves to laugh at our situations – and ourselves – helps us keep stress at bay. It keeps us in the moment. And by giving us the tools we need to see the world as joyous, happy and, often, downright humorous, laughter becomes a gateway drug to happiness.

So go ahead, let yourself laugh. Do this as often as possible. Laughing regularly will not only relieve stress; it will also keep you in the moment, a state in which worries about the past or future can’t weigh you down. Laughing is therapeutic, energizing and absolutely crucial to being a positive person. It’s the most effective happiness drug out there.

Happiness Strategy: If you’re in front of the computer, stop what you’re doing and go to this link on YouTube. It should take you to Skype’s Laughter Chain. Clear your mind of your current situation and worries as you watch the video. If you laugh while watching, pay attention to how your body and energy levels change. If you don’t start laughing, instead feel how watching other people laugh boosts your mood and your energy level.

The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or downtrodden, try to find a humorous clip or article that will make you laugh. The release you feel should instantly lighten your mood and help you reframe your current situation in a more optimistic context.

Happiness is an inside job®.

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Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, and and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace.

Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

For more information, please visit, and

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