Guest Post by Beverley Kay
I have been exploring laughter on my journey to manage me. Inspirational insight - laughter makes me “feel good” and so according to my research- improves my emotional and physical wellbeing.
The other day my two little ones laughed together when normally they would be in combat mode. The reason? We were learning to video and they were tasked with finding funny cat video’s on YouTube. We shared a hilarious time together enriched with laughter. That feel good feeling lasted for ages. It certainly produced a prolonged cease fire!
So, when was the last time you laughed until you cried?
Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. on www.HelpGuide.org state that humour lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. They suggest that
A good hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress.
Laughing boosts the immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
Laughing improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, helping to protect you against a heart attack.
Well, I needed to explore laughter a little bit more. I couldn’t resist, some may call it procrastination and I have that down to a fine art form. I googled “Funny” and had a good belly laugh. Some funnies I can share with you, however do explore the funnies yourself.
I was in in the public restroom.
I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice in the other stall: ”Hi, how are you?”
Me: (embarrassed) “Doin’ fine!”
Stall: “So what are you up to?”
Me: “Uhhh, I’m like you, just sitting here.”
Stall: “Can I come over?”
Me: (attitude) “No, I’m a little busy right now!!”
Stall: “Listen, I’ll have to call you back. There’s an idiot in the other stall who keeps answering all my questions!
I wondered why the ball was getting bigger! Then it hit me.
I named my dog "5 miles", so I can tell people I walk 5 miles every day.
Whatever you do, always give 100%. Unless you're donating blood.
So what tickles your funny bone?
Going to the Melbourne Comedy Festival?
Watching a funny movie or TV show? Or Reading funny stories?
Keeping company with funny people? Or sharing a good joke or a funny story?
Hosting game nights with friends? Or Making time for fun activities?
Goofing around with children? Or Doing something silly?
Going to a “laughter yoga” class?
Can you list at least 10 activities that get you laughing?
Do you seek laughter opportunities?
Seriously think - when was you last time you laughed so hard your cried with tears running down your face whilst doubled over with uncontrollable hysteria?
Now remember how good it felt…
I have taken Action. I have added 10 what makes me laugh to my Happy Hit List
Why is it so important?
Sue Waterworth in her article What is Laughter Therapy cites Norman Cousins who in 1964, documented the power of laughter in healing. After being diagnosed with a painful chronic condition, and unhappy with the treatment, he began his own treatment, reading and watching anything that made him laugh. It worked, and he regained his health. He later wrote a book about this extraordinary experience which he called Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins called laughter ‘internal jogging, an exercise to keep us in emotional shape’.
Waterworth suggests that laughter increases the happy hormones and endorphins and is a sort of weight-lifting for the brain.
So to recap
Supports your glass half full attitude to life
Reinforces your belief in the power of positive thought
Sustains a can do attitude
Adds joy and zest to life
BeyondBlue’s has a classroom program that includes a module (session 7) called Laughter is the best medicine.
The learning outcomes include:
Plan for a balance of work and fun in daily life
Describe the benefits of laughter and humour on physical and emotional health
Identify and practise ways to make yourself feel better
Identify ways to regularly schedule pleasant activities in your life
Go to it and achieve those outcomes
2 useful tools I use and would recommend include
Mood check- do you need to take action? Free Downloads
Happy Hit List- a MeManagement Product
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