Laughter Is The Best Medicine
How long has it been since you've actually laughed out loud for minutes on end? For me it was watching comedians on Netflix this past Monday. My husband was on Skype in the other room and I was laughing so loud the people in his conversation were asking if they were hearing laughter or crying. To be honest it was a little bit of both-- laughing to the point of crying! If you follow our social media posts, you may notice that this June we have been posting daily yoga jokes (we are unoffocially creating #junejokes month haha!). Part of the reason we are working on this theme is because lately we have noticed that all too often people take themselves and their situations way too seriously (we are no exception!). This creates a situation where the simple situations life gives us everyday stress people out rather than creating wonderful learning opportunities. If a comedian can find a way to make us literally laugh at any situation imaginable, we would do well to at least try to find natural humor in life. Because of all of this, today we will talk about benefits of laughing a few ways to develop your sense of humor.
Benefits of Laughing
Boosts the immune system
Lowers stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
Decreases pain (chronic and temporary)
Relaxes the muscles
Prevents heart disease
Eases anxiety and tension
Adds joy and zest to life
Strengthens Resiliance to hard situations
Makes us more attractive to others
Helps diffuse conflict
Promotes group bonding
Tips to Try Out as You are Strengthening Your Sense of Humor
Laugh at Yourself
This sounds like the most absurd thing imaginable to a perfectionist. However, when we let go of perfectionism and embrace the quirkiness of life, we begin to live in a more wholehearted way. Besides, no one wants to hear how perfect everything is all the time. Likewise, no one wants to hear how miserable everything is constantly. When we embrace our embarrassment and share those moments with others, we automatically are seen as much more authentic because we aren't hiding from who we truly are.
Surround Yourself With Reminders to Lighten Things Up
Having little toys around can remind you to take a minute for yourself every now and then. These can be trinkets to play with like a rubix cube, it can be something that makes you laugh like a bobblehead with a giant noggin' and a tiny body, or it can even be a secret chocolate stash hidden in a drawer. These serve as reminders that life is full of all varieties of wonders!
Don't Dwell on the Negative
Nothing makes a bad day worse than reliving it a thousand times again within the confounds of your brain! Our thoughts activate the Law of Attraction and this law doesn't differentiate between negative thoughts and positive thoughts. So when we think more positive things, positivity returns to us. However, when we think negative things (even dwelling on the lack of positive things), more of the negativity/lack makes its way toward us.
Find Ways to Deal with your Stress
Stress will come to us one way or another. The question is whether we use that stress to propel ourselves on to a more grand version of life or if we let it eat away at us constantly. I recommend making a list of self care activities you absolutely love. You can categorize these items under the topics "free" (such as going on a walk or meditating), "practically free" (such as painting or enjoying a bowl of ice cream), "not super expensive" (such as a massage or going to the movies), and "something to save up and plan for" (such as a cruise trip). Commit to doing a free self-care item from your list daily. Make specific plans for the week, the month, the year, and perhaps into 5 years for additional self care items. Remember that taking care of oneself is crucial to being able to turn outwards and help the world.
Don't Go a Day Without Laughing
If your answer to the first question in this blog post was that you don't remember the last time you really laughed, commit to never go a day without laughing. Need a further reason? Look at the benefits of laughing once more! Set aside 10 minutes daily to doing something that really brings a smile to your face and makes your day much more lighthearted. A comical youtube video, reading the "funnies" in the newspaper, and looking up themed jokes in your browser (such as "yoga jokes") are all great ways to get a smile in! It is things like this that bring color to life and make the experience of being human really quite magnificent!
Remember that we have a Laughter Yoga Wellness Group the first Sunday of each month from 3-4pm. That class is donation based and is a great way to remind yourself to remain lighthearted!