MANUFACTURING JOY. Joy, our unhampered, natural state. For Myself. It’s my job. I have a bag of tricks. With scientific backup. If I’m depressed for too long—holiday angst, losses, whatever, I’ll use them. Sometimes I go to the ocean: waves jolt depression with their negative ions and their beauty. Beauty can too – hearing a Chopin nocturne, seeing a painting by Van Gogh. Or I’ll pet my dog – from which science can actually measure the amount of oxytocin produced. It’s a lot.
‘Tis always the perfect season to be jolly. Have a good cry. Have a good laugh — science can measure what your body produces when you laugh — pleasure hormones, and a multi-syllabic chemical that boosts your immune system. So if you’re healthy and strong, at least you don’t have to be depressed that you’re not! And actors know there are techniques to make us feel good – even on a dime. For example, “Sense Memory,” known in the medical community as “Sensory Imagery.” Its profound physiological and mood changes confirmed by studies at Harvard Medical. You just summon some or all of your five senses — as you imagine you are petting your favorite dog, or hugging your favorite friend. Your body will think the dog or friend are there! Though I say, better if you can hug the real dog, and friend!
And then there are words – maybe funny poems. Maybe the Bible. Words can transform us. Maybe even the words: HAVE THE BEST HOLIDAYS EVER!