How does a sunny spring day make you feel? Even when it is cold but sunny, it seems to add a brightness to my mood. Sunny days seem to hold out so many more possibilities. Could it be that the darkness of gray overcast days really keep us from seeing the great details that add a vibrancy and excitement to life in our world. Our eyes just seem to soak in the light and our bodies bask in the vitamins that enrich our whole being.
However, changing a bad mood into a good mood is not as easy as walking out into the sunshine and breathing in the cool fresh air of spring. The process is a little more complex than that. The sunshine may produce a chemical reaction when out skin or eyes sense its presence, which then may tell the brain to release other chemicals into our blood stream. And yes, this is where it becomes more complex because if there are no receptors within the body to “feel” those chemicals the process stops and our mood remains unchanged. Or the change is so small it’s not recognized. Or the change does not happen because there are too few receptors and now the body must produce more receptors, so the “feeling can be felt” and registered as change.. If I’ve lost you by this point in this convoluted process do not become stressed because even though I may not be clear about the way it works, just know that it does. Yet, also know that the process of changing a mood is not that simple and it takes time. In our instant everything world, however, finding the patience to allow the process time to happen just derails the process even more, so relax. Get some sunshine and enjoy the feeling, anyway!.
I took this picture on Mackinaw Island looking east toward Lake Huron. Is it just a natural rock formation? Or is it several natural rocks that have been piled up on one another? Each one of the words in bold above has a dictionary definition. The picture may also be helpful in discovering the meaning of the words as long as you recognize the connection between the words and the picture. But, what would happen if the picture didn’t have anything to do with the words on this page? Everyday our brain in coordination with our eyes, memory and thought processes are making choices about meaning based not only on the words, ink on pages or pixels on a screen but also what we’ve learn about the meaning of those words. If I were not able to remember those meanings, these words and the letters that bring the words and pictures together would not communicate or provide any type of information. Yet, having learned the meaning on some day in the past, today we take this process of reading, understanding and being informed for granted. If we were blind, we’d have to rely on someone else’s description to pain a mental picture and bring meaning to us.
Having typed these words, what is the underlying message? People naturally take much they’ve come to know in the past for granted. The processes that were not so easy as a small child are now forgotten until we are faced with learning something really new. Remember, back then learning new stuff came naturally as we were like sponges soaking in things about our world. Then we didn’t ask if and when that stuff would be useful, we just enjoyed the journey. Friends, that’s the real lesson we adults need. Just enjoy learning new things. It’s fun!
I am learning everyday about things which influence our attitudes and behavior. Today, I watched this TED Talk because I read about it in the Laughter Yoga newsletter. Dr. Madan Kataria has always said when it comes to the benefits of laughter we must, “Fake it until we make it.” In other words our bodies receive the benefit from Laughter even if it isn’t real when we begin. Our bodies do not know the difference between “real laughter” and “fake laughter”. Humor is a cognitive reality while laughter is a physical reality. Professor Amy Cuddy a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, shares her research in how your body position influences others and even your own brain. She studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. And her training as a classical dancer is evident in her fascinating work on “power posing” ! Check this out.