Joy puts you on the fast track to achieving any goal you desire. Therefore Rebbe Nachman emphasizes the importance of being joyous at all times. While it’s easy to be happy when you feel good and things are going smoothly, what should you do when you don’t feel happy and there’s nothing to be joyous about? Rebbe Nachman offers these suggestions for getting back on track:
- Force yourself. Forcing yourself to be happy will eventually turn the cause of your unhappiness into a real source of joy.
- Fake it. Even if you don’t feel happy, you can fake it. Pretend to be happy. Who says that if you’re feeling down, you can’t smile?
- Remember your good points. Another way you can become joyous when depressed is by acknowledging that you have at least some good within you.
- Sing, play music and dance. Music clears the mind and makes us happy.
- Do something silly. In talking about making every effort to be joyous, Rebbe Nachman said this even includes resorting to acting a bit silly. The price one pays for a little silliness is far less than the price of depression and lethargy.
Reb Avraham Chazan commented, “If Rebbe Nachman taught that it’s a great mitzvah to be happy always, then we must believe that there is what to be happy about!” (Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Rosen).
Kramer, Chaim. Rebbe Nachman And YOU (pp. 44-46). Breslov Research Institute.