September 2014 Newsletter
The Power of Kindness
Laughter is infectious. The ability to laugh, play and have fun with others makes life enjoyable, helps solve problems, connect with others and be more creative. When laughter is shared, it brings people together and increases happiness and closeness.
The benefits of laughter:
Physical Health Benefits – boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones, decreases pain, relaxes your muscles and prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits – adds joy and zest to life, eases anxiety and fear, relieves stress, improves mood and enhances resilience
Social Benefits – strengthens relationships, attracts others to us, enhances teamwork, helps defuse conflict and promotes group bonding
The link between laughter and mental health:
Laughter dissolves distressing emotions – You can’t feel anxious, angry or sad when you are laughing
Laughter helps you relax and recharge – It reduces stress and increases energy enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more
Humor shifts perspective – This allows you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light.
A humorous perspective creates psychological distance which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed
Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life:
Laugh at yourself
Look for the humor in a bad situation and uncover the irony and absurdity of life
Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up such as a funny poster, choosing a computer screensaver that makes you laugh, framed pictures of family and friends, etc.
Keep things in perspective – many things in life are beyond your control particularly the behavior of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, it is unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy and egotistical.
Smile – smiling is the beginning of laughter
Create opportunities to laugh by:
- watching a funny movie or TV show
- go to a comedy club
- reading the funny pages
- surrounding yourself with funny people
- hosting game night with friends
- playing with a pet
- goofing around with children
- doing something silly
- make time for fun activities such as golfing, hiking, bowling, etc.
Research shows that pre-school-aged children laugh up to 400 times a day but adults laugh a mere 17 times a day. So channel your inner-child and share a laugh with someone you know. After all, laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone!