The Happy Pill
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Do you ever get tired of the pharmaceutical advertisements you see on TV and social media? You know the ones where people are suffering from a medical condition, and they just can’t find relief?
Sometimes the medical condition is something that I have never even heard off. Yet after watching the advertisement you wonder, Maybe I should see my doctor about this?
The advertisements all seem to follow the same formula. They tell you about the disease and then about how the drug they are selling will make it all go away. Then, in a fast-paced voice, they tell you all the side effects of the drugs and at the very end say, “and in rare cases death.” That is when you wonder if you really want to take that drug.
What if there was a drug that when you pop the pill it would make you happy?
We could call it a happy pill. The advertisement would say something about the sadness and challenges that the world is facing. It could talk about your own personal hardships and challenges. Then, presto! take this one pill and it all goes away.
I wonder what they would call it. Maybe something like joyful, or contented, or jovality (yes, I just made that up because it sounds like a drug name.) Then the announcer at the end would say in a fast voice all the side effects just like all other drugs.
It may even go something like this:
Side effects may include: occasional headaches from smiling too much, anger towards those that are sad, outrage towards people that are raining on your parade, and occasional death from too much happiness.
Seems farfetched, but my guess is that the drug would be a best seller.
Maybe there is a way to be happy without popping a pill.
Dr. Robert Emmons concluded in his book Thanks! How practicing Gratitude can make you happier that you can increase your happiness by regular grateful thinking. You can increase it by as much as 25%. Not only that your immune system become stronger, but your blood pressure will lower, you will sleep better, and will be less lonely. All by simply being grateful on a regular basis.
So, this week as you think about growing spiritually, consider starting a praise journal. I keep one myself and try to write in it each day.
In your walk with God there is much that is praiseworthy. Stop and think this week how God has led in your life. Consider His sacrifice for you. Think about spending time in the earth made new. Look around you at the beauty of this earth even after many years of sin. Consider the flowers, the creative work in nature, the amazing plethora of the animals in our world. All things to be grateful of our amazing God.
Take the happiness pill. The side effects are wonderful.
As the Bible says “Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” Psalms 34:8