This Beliefnet blogger wants to know …
What happens in your brain in response to a sidesplitting, tear inducing, stomach aching, diaphragm exercising laugh?
Laugh Yourself Skinny
Researchers at the University College London Institute of Neurology found that as study subjects mulled over, chewed on and digested verbal jokes, the areas in their brains that are connected to understanding and learning were set in motion.
These one-liners set off a chain of chemical reactions that instantly elevated participants’ moods, reduced pain and stress, and boosted their immune systems. (Holy Guacamole!!) We are talkin’ about dopamine, folks. Dopamine is released when we eat, have sex and laugh!
In addition, (wow folks, we hit the mother load here), laughter promotes good health by warding off anger and aggression (remember, there is a different between being assertive and aggressive). Laughter communicates good will.
Let’s agree to make laughter a part of our reality. Let’s individually and collectively find the funny side, the humorous side in as many things as we can!
Remember … Once one sugar-cube of joy is set into motion, a number of positive physical effects take place. And without humor, your thought processes are likely to get crazy-glued to some narrowly focused corner of your brain, leading to increased distress and weight gain.
Our Lady of Luminous Laughter shares her top ten tips that are guaranteed to activate your humor gene. From “All Is Forgiven, Move On: Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville.”
1. Look for the everyday humor. There are all kinds of absurd, silly things going on around you all day long. A friend recently reported seeing a sign outside a local church: “Don’t let worries kill you. Let the church help.” (Come on – that’s funny and it was right there in front of her!)
2. Invest in a joke book. Weave one-liners into your conversation. I’m not gaining weight; I’m retaining food!
3. Get yourself a funny friend or two. Or better yet, do as my husband did (lucky man), find yourself a funny partner.
4. Trade in coffee breaks (or cigarette breaks for sure) for humor breaks. Tell your boss that in lieu of smoking, you’re cultivating your funny side and will henceforth be taking a humor break twice daily. I’m sure he or she will find that very amusing!
5. If you hear it – write it. If someone says something funny, write it down. You can use it later on someone else! You know, pass the laughter forward!
6. Put a post-it on your refrigerator, your computer and bathroom mirror. “Have fun.” It may take a few weeks before it becomes a habit.
7. Eliminate late night sadness. Do not under any circumstances watch the news or read the newspaper or partake in anything that makes you feel sad or unhappy late at night. It’s a sure buzz kill. Sweet dreams require sweet thoughts.
8. Fake it till you make it! Smile and laugh even if you’re feeling miserable. Your brain will pick up on the smile cue and feel better.
9. Play the “HA” Game. There are two ways to play the “HA” game. You need at least five people, but 15 is better.
Here’s how you play!
All players are to sit on the floor in a circle. The first person starts the game by looking into the eyes of the person to the left of him/her and saying “Ha.” That person, in turn, says “Ha, ha” to the person to his/her left and it continues on like this, adding a “Ha” with each person. The trick is that you have to do it without laughing or smiling and you must maintain eye contact. And if you make it through one round, you just go on to the next round. It’s difficult enough not to laugh, much less keep track of how many Ha’s you are up to! The last person remaining wins!
Want more intimacy?
The more intimate way of playing “HA” to have the first player lie on the floor on his or her back. The next person lies perpendicular to him/her with his/her head on the first person’s stomach. And so on and son on until you have a chain of people lying on the floor. Then the game is pretty much the same, except you are just playing for the “Ha’s” – the belly laughs from having your head jump up and down. You can’t help but create a chain of people cracking up. (No eye contact necessary.)
10. Hey UGLY (Unique Gifted Lovable You) , a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building teenager’s self-esteem, has a laughter CD for sale on their website. It’s a steal and a scream. Caution: For starters, listen for one minute and build for a total of ten minutes per day. Wouldn’t want you to laugh too much! Visit heyugly.org
Spread the word (NOT the icing!),
For more side-splitting laughs, go to OLofWL’s Kick in the Tush Club community!
This blogger sees through “Fat Colored Glasses.”
Janice Taylor permanently removed over 50 pounds of excess weight over 7 years ago. The miracle is that she kept it off – she permanently removed it (versus lose it / find it). She writes through ‘fat colored classes,’ as she navigates life via her fatty to thinnish path. Her books are about weight loss and NOT. They are about life. As Janice explains,”Life is a holistic event. Last time I looked, I was NOT carrying my head under my arm (body and mind are connected), and last time I looked, my EXTERNAL form (body and physical environment) reflected my INTERNAL life (spirit, soul, thoughts). In other words, as my layers of excess weight melted away, my external life changed dramatically. As my life transformed externally, a whole new me ’emerged’ internally.”
Janice wants to know: What does your external life reflect about your internal world? How do your thoughts reflect on your body? And visa versa!
Janice is a Life & Wellness coach, certified hypnotist, Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner.