A Sunny Day

Tree2How 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!.

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

Enjoying the Sunshine, Jolly John

POSITIVITY – DOES IT WORK?

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.

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

We often hear age old wisdom such as “Laughter is the Best Medicine” but is it? I’m not sure of Laughter is the BEST medicine but I know it is a very cheap and very good medicine. Since I am not an expert in all medicines, it would be wrong for me to make such a statement. This I know there is much scientific evidence to show the benefits of what is called HEU (Hearty Extended Unconditional) Laughter. In a study of 200 healthy young subjects  where one group participated in seven 20 minute Laughter Yoga sessions over 3 weeks they showed a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. They also show and 18% increase in positive emotions and nearly 28% decrease in negative emotions.

This tells me we should put more intentional HEU Laughter into our lives. Telling jokes may be a good way to do it. However, that is leaving the consistent, intentional laughter to chance. The jokes may not be funny to everyone. But laughing for no reason like a baby or a young child does brings the benefits without chance. Your body doesn’t know the difference. Just Laugh! It doesn’t cost a thing and it pays huge dividends.

Thanks for listening-Keep Laughing,

Blessings, Peace, Joy, Hope and Laughter,

“Jolly” John