Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Stress, Suggestions and Using Laughter

What does the word stress bring up for you? Very likely it will be negative because the media influences us that stress is ‘bad’ and we are directed to find relief from it with buying, eating, drinking, holidaying etc. Many people are so accustomed to living in a stressful manner and may not realise that there are ways to combat it. It can be that when we our time is restricted, it is beneficial to feel under pressure and we can achieve that without sending our bodies into a stressed mode. In fact it can be uplifting and energising, rather like self-testing or facing a challenge. And the word challenge is bandied about these days, as one to use instead of one that conjures up negative tones such as difficult or hard. A challenge helps us to get out of our own way and get things done, especially if we are procrastinators. I can relate to that. Our attitude is our choice and it can be small things that help us to feel in balance when our life is full of demands. We may feel stuck and often have little choice of changing things for the time being.
From my experience and many others, laughter, exercise, gratitude, good diet and meditation are imperative to live a fit and well life. Incorporating laughter into your daily life is highly beneficial. Laughing helps you to improve your sense of humour and bring lightness, upliftment and joy. When life throws you a lemon and you feel lost, being able to laugh can save the day and give you enough strength and hope to keep on going.
Meditation helps deal with thinking too much as alternatively things blow out of proportion and our mind will be in a constant whirl. We do not need to think and things frequently seem worse than they really are when there will be light at the end of the tunnel. I believe that whatever comes our way we can deal with and will ultimately makes us stronger and wiser.
Speaking of laughter, I have found it to be a fantastic addition to my life. It has helped me with the physical exercise aspect and in other ways, including bringing a lightness and energy into my being. I love being involved with Laughter Yoga and grateful to the Laughter Yoga movement Founder, Dr Madan Kataria who developed Laughter Yoga into a simple exercise routine, which he calls ‘laughing for no reason’. It is scientifically proven that the body cannot differentiate between real and fake laughter. What begins as pretend laughter still releases positive endorphins into our blood stream and what began as an exercise quickly turns into real spontaneous tummy wobbling laughter.
How we can learn to laugh easier is to be in a group situation, such as a Community Laughter Yoga Club which assists us to learn to laugh more freely. Before we go I will leave you with an example of how to do this laughing for no reason thing. Once you learn the art to laugh, you will discover there is no limit to your laughter creativity. You will find yourself laughing more and longer. You will re-invent yourself. The more you learn to ‘laugh for no reason’ the simpler and more spontaneous laughter becomes.
An important hint first up is to recognise the benefit and have the desire to laugh more for the many health benefits that it brings. The next step to help you lighten up and heighten your sense of humour, find everyday things, in fact anything at all, to practice laughter and laugh lightly at them.
Try the following. Begin with a quiet little chuckle, chortling away, make it bigger and louder, if it is appropriate, depending on where you are physically. Say to yourself, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, incorporating breathing which goes as follows. Breathe in and as you breathe out, say either silently or out loud, ha ha ha ha ha ha and you can add some he he he’s too. It is very good to incorporate laughing and breathing, which is why it is called Laughter Yoga. There are many other Laughter Yoga breathing exercises, which I am happy to forward to you upon request. Also you will find more about them on my website or you might be able to come along to the free community Ferntree Gully Laughter Club, which meets on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Sunday morning at 10.30am.
Love and laughter blessings to you,
Lynette Mitchell.
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Disclaimer: This post is written from my personal understanding and experience and is not to be misconstrued. The advice given is general and I am not a medical doctor, taking responsibility for how it is received, my intention is that posts will be supportive and assist in living a more holistic life.

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