28 Jun MAY – Have a laugh
Have a laugh
After reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, I learnt all about how laughing is key to being happy. I like to consider myself a funny person. Although, in the seriousness of my job at times or the exhaustion I faced at the end of my day – I often didn’t make time to have a giggle.
Research tells us that laughter has many benefits
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces stress hormone levels
Works your abs
Improves cardiac health
Triggers the release of endorphins
Produces a general sense of wellbeing
When I read about the benefits I thought – yes please!! Who wouldn’t want to be a zen, happy, healthy gal with a 6 pack. Alright – someone start tickling!!
I had a think about how often I get to have a laugh. I work with some really funny people and I too consider myself somewhat funny, eccentric and outgoing but wasn’t letting loose as much as I could.
This lead me to my commandment – ‘to lighten up.’ Too often in our busy lives, we forget to stop and enjoy it. I know I just jump from task to task and never allow myself to enjoy a test every now and then.
When considering how funny I am or could be, I think back to a big overseas trip to South America that Matt and I went on a couple of years ago. We were on a trek to Machu Picchu. For some strange reason, I was the funniest person on the trip (much to Matt’s annoyance). A whole tour group of people would be doubled over in stitches because of me. Matt was so frustrated with my new found comedian talent. He made a point of walking kilometres ahead on the trail so he didn’t have to listen to me. I guess he’d never really seen that side of me. At home I was always stressed and never kept the humour going when I was funny because what fuels me is when people laugh – and he probably just thought I was painful! But when I had this audience, when these people laughed so hard their voices echoed over the mountains – I loved it! The happiness that beamed out of me was incredible. The fact that I made others happy was really something. I knew I needed to replicate that feeling more often.
Now, 2 years later as I scanned through my South America photos to add to this blog, I found a photo of the cake that our porters made for us. I had totally forgotten about this! When asked to give our group a name, we elected ‘The Happy Gas Group’ – I wonder if all our laughter had anything to do with this???
In all honesty, I didn’t plan this commandment too well in the month of May. I just kind of decided I would ‘laugh more.’ When you are in a pattern of taking yourself too seriously, this is hard! Having no strategy for laughing more didn’t fair well. At the end of the day, when I would check off my resolutions, I would think “When did I laugh today?” This wasn’t being mindful of my laughter when in the moment – so I decided to reword the commandment and try again in June.