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Table of Contents 10th August 2008, Issue #004
This Month's Article - Seriously - Laughter is the Best Medicine!
Tip of the Month
Seriously - Laughter is the Best Medicine!
Humour and laughter have the power to make us feel better, we all know. Evidence shows that having a good sense of humour and taking life less seriously can also improve your health and contribute to a long life span. For once it's not a case of the medicine having to be nasty to do any good! Humour and laughter have healing power. It's official!
Laughter creates the conditions where it's easier to shed negative holding patterns - whether these are held in the form of physical tension, chronic symptoms, anxiety or depression. A good belly-laugh releases tension and minor complaints such as headaches may be eased or disappear. Negative states of mind can similarly dissolve and make way for confidence and a more positive mood.
Allowing your laughter to flow through your body also provides a massage for the internal organs and gives the body a miniature workout, producing some of the positive effects of taking exercise. Heart rate and circulation are increased, respiration becomes more efficient, muscles of the stomach and diaphragm are toned - and you haven't even left your chair!
There is evidence to suggest that laughter can induce the release of endorphins - the body's natural pain-killing hormones - making it a good natural anaesthetic. It is also an anti-inflammatory and a great stress-buster as well. Laughter really is good medicine. No wonder it's being prescribed by some medical practitioners as a serious therapy and that some really ill patients have literally laughed themselves back to health.
What laughter can do for your confidence
You have probably noticed that when you laugh you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Recognising the absurdity of some of the things that happen in life and being amused by them is a good way of retaining a sense of perspective. It can also dispel anger, allay feelings of anxiety and make you feel more confident.
When you are in touch with your sense of humour, your mood is automatically uplifted. The way you hold your body is different - you stand more upright - and you breathe more deeply which creates greater feelings of self confidence. A regular injection of laughter could be all you need to be more at ease and enjoy life more.
Three types of humour
Apparently there are three types of humour. Sarcasm, which has been dubbed the lowest form of wit, is not beneficial in this context. The witty pun type of humour is generally pleasing, but it's the third so-called 'cosmic' humour which is the most valuable.
This is where you appreciate all the silly little things that happen, the ridiculousness of life, and are tickled into laughter by them. These often become the subject of comedy TV and radio programmes which can provide you with a rich source of laughter material.
Learn to laugh more
Some people have the knack of seeing the funny side of life and collapse into giggles at the slightest opportunity. If you are not one of those and do not find much to laugh at in your daily life, what can you do?
Acting as if you are full of fun and laughter may seem artificial at first, but pretending to be in a certain state of mind can be the quickest way to induce it for real. Deciding to be a hopeful, optimistic and fun-loving person will help you to become one.
Being in the company of humorous, uplifting, positive people will help you to cultivate the fun-loving side of yourself. Choosing not to be with depressing, pessimistic folk makes your job easier too.
Dig out all those comedy films and funny books, listen out for good jokes, and get out with your most amusing friends.
Imagine you are a writer and you are gathering material for a humorous book or play you are writing. For a few minutes each day look about you and observe all the absurd, silly, amusing things that people do or situations that arise, that would qualify to go into your funny book or play.
Create your own scrapbook of funny memories, anecdotes and jokes by writing them down. Take a few minutes each day to delve into this treasury of good humour.
For the most benefits allow yourself to really let go when you laugh. Let belly-laughs develop, and if you feel your sides are going to split and the tears come, that's even better. You may need a little practice before it comes naturally, but what a wonderful, enjoyable treat you can give yourself to benefit you, your confidence and your health.
This Month's Tip
So often we say to family and friends "Take care", "Be safe", "Be careful". It's nice when people say the same things to us. We feel cared for and that we matter, but there is a down side too.
These messages do not acknowledge the appropriateness of taking risks. By risks, I mean doing things one would not normally do, doing things that might make us a bit uncomfortable, but which might expand us and add to our enrichment.
This month's tip is: got to unfamiliar places, do unusual things, take the risk of going beyond the perimeter. You will reap the rewards of greater self confidence and adaptability to change, an increased capacity to enjoy.
A whole new section on health and confidence covering:
- The mind body connection
- Increasing health and fitness
- Enhancing the body's natural healing capability
Look for these articles on the website in the next few weeks.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Self Confidence Secrets. If you would like to make comments, offer ideas, suggestions or give feedback, I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think.
See you next month!
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