GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
3. The Torah prohibits us from endangering our health. We must be more stringent in these matters than other prohibitions. (see Mishnah Brurah 472:11)
Lack of happiness is dangerous to one’s health. A wide range of psychosomatic diseases are caused by distressful emotions such as sadness, worry, envy, anger, and excessive anxiety.
Happiness is an obligation because of our relationships with others
The Torah ideal is to greet each and every person with a pleasant facial
expression. (Tomar Dvorah, ch.2)
One way to keep practicing is to smile to yourself in a mirror. Recent research has shown that this gives you an upgrade in the bio-chemicals produced by your brain.
A young man once came to Rabbi Noson Tzvi Finkel of Slobodka (d.1927) to announce his engagement. Noticing the young man wore a very solemn facial expression, Rabbi Finkel stressed that while this is a great obligation at all times, it is especially necessary when he is in the presence of his fiancée. (Hameoros Hagdolim, p.234)
2. People want others to smile and show signs of happiness when they address them. You have the ability to serve as a “shining sun” to everyone with whom you come into contact. Even a tiny infant can differentiate between a face that is shining and one expressing depression and resentment. If you smile at an infant, the infant will smile back at you. A child who lacks friendly smiles is like a plant missing sunlight. (Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, d.2005, Alai Shur, vol.1, p.190)
3. When you are happy, you are able to cheer up other people which is a great act of kindness. A happy person spreads his happy feelings. (Likutai Aitzos, simcha, no. 38)
As the family eagerly waiting traveling to the wedding of Rabbi Chayim Shmuelevitz’s youngest son, Rav Chayim called one of his older students to his home. The student was having difficulties finding a wife, and Rav Chayim counseled him at length providing advice and encouragement. “Today I am marrying off my youngest child,” the head of the Mirrer Yeshiva told his student. “My joy is very great. I thought to myself, who on this special day can I help out? I thought of you.” (Sefer Hazikoron, p.103)
HAPPINESS IS AN OBLIGATION