Monday, September 10, 2012

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a zebra in the front seat. "What are you doing with that zebra?" He exclaimed, "You should take it to the zoo." The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the zebra again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. 
The policeman pulls him over. "I thought you were going to take that zebra to the zoo!" The man replied, "I did. We had such a good time we are going to the beach this weekend!"

Alright that is a pretty bad joke, and it's not going to have you rolling in the aisles, but if it did, it would be very good for your health.

Last week, my workplace, as part of a company initiative called "Be Well" month, we had a lunchtime seminar with 2 guys from Element X. Former World Iron Man champion Phil Clayton and Athlete Mentor/Manager, Creator of the original Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Series David Simons spoke to us about the best Nutrition to get the most out of our bodies. While this was informative, it was David's talk about Qigong, and focusing on breathing that really interested me. His positive outlook and sense of humour really inspired me - I want to look at my life, and it's challenges with the same fervour that he does. 

He explained that many people do not breath effectively, to really take in the oxygen we need to function properly. He showed us how to exercise our diaphragm through fast short breaths, then showed us how the same muscle movements were gained by laughing. 

It appears that back in the early 1800's Lord Byron knew what he was talking about when he said ... "Always Laugh when you can. It's cheap medicine". 
Probably the most famous case of someone laughing their way to health, is that of Norman Cousins who,  when doctors had given him the news of his impending death, added an extra 10 years to his life by laughing himself back to health.

I'm not sick, but I am not leading the most healthy lifestyle either, and ultimately I have realised that my quest for fitness and health, is really a quest for happiness, and when you think about it, what goes hand in hand with happiness?... LAUGHTER!!

I've done some research and decided I definitely need to laugh more, and this is why:
  • Laughter therapy is an excellent aerobic exercise.
  • Laughter helps you lose weight. (15 minutes of laughter burns as much as 50 calories).
  • Improves breathing (respiration) and blood circulation
  • Laughter Improves mood
  • Laughter eases anxiety and fear
  • Laughter relaxes the body and muscles, and relieves physical tensions for up to 45 mins
  • Laughter lowers stress hormones, Boosts the immune system and infection fighting antibodies which improves your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter releases endorphins, the body's natural feel good chemical, which can also relieve pain

So, easier said than done. I can't just sit here and make myself laugh, can I?
Well actually, funny thing is I probably can, if I laugh it makes my husband laugh at me, and then I laugh at his laugh, and before we know it we are cracking up at each other and don't even know why... so all I need to do is find a few things to kick start that laughter like :
  • Watching the comedy channel
  • Watching funny video's on you tube
  • Watching my kids play stupid games
  • Get out and do fun activities
  • Spend more time with friends who make me laugh 
  • Play games
  • Have tickle-fights?
My goal for this coming week is to laugh more. A nice simple goal, one of many that I will be implementing into my life, to help me get closer to finding my authentic self. 

Here is a few to get us started.

No comments: