Audio for Day 12
My Dunkin Donuts Story
My Gettysburg Story
Welcome to Day 12!
Today is all about laughing. Why? Because a sense of humor, looking at what’s funny in our world is good for us. Plus it kicks in another question for that often much needed shift from the negative path.
What makes you laugh out loud?
Top on my list is Dunkin Donuts. Second is Gettysburg. Two unlikely sounding topics but I’m smiling as I write them. If you want to hear why, go to the web page and check them out. Suffice it to say, they were times when I couldn’t stop laughing.
Everybody has a few of those stories stored away. There’s plenty more all over social media. I seldom watch what everyone posts because what makes people laugh is so personal but I did catch the interview on the Tonight Show where Jimmy Fallon and Bradley Cooper completely lost it. I just watched it again before I posted it and it is hysterical.
Here’s the link for that:
We humans love to laugh. We love it when babies do. We even pay people to make us laugh because we feel so good when we do. By now you know that laughing changes your body chemistry which in turn changes your mood.
I did a live seminar last winter as part of my positivity series specifically on the power of humor to heal and thrive. Here are some of the facts I found about the effects of laughing on your body:
Brings in extra oxygen
Shudders the internal organs
Causes muscles to contract
Activates the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Increase in the secretion of endorphins, the feel good hormones
Increase in oxygen absorption
Increase in heart rate
Relaxation of the muscles
Increases in the number of disease fighting immune cells
So not only do you mentally feel better, your body gets a work out.
Norman Cousins was known best for using humor to extend his life. Hospitalized in serious condition, he made a brave choice. He checked himself into a hotel room, hired a nurse and watched funny movies to help himself heal. He discovered that 10 minutes of laughter - in his case watching Marx brothers movies - would give him 2 hours of pain relief. Tests conducted by the hospital proved that the laughter caused the sed rate (which monitors tissue inflammation) to drop, proving the strategy worked according to his book ‘Anatomy of an Illness’.
I often consciously use humor when I need a boost. Here’s an example of one of those times. I was alone a few years ago on Christmas Eve, something that hadn’t happened in a long time. It was two weeks after the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I was deeply saddened by that as was the rest of the country. I had done shows there years ago so it was a town that was familiar. And it reminded me of why I had started the Strategies program all those years ago – to help prevent things just like this. Everybody it seemed had plans and there was nothing open so it was up to me to turn things around.
I decided to binge watch comedy. I found a comedian who resonated with what I find funny. It really helped. That’s why I love these strategies so much. They give me solutions to most of what shows up in life, gives me the tools to direct my brain rather than letting it run me.
See? Even the Queen of Positivity needs help sometimes! I also use comedy when I’m sick. I binge watch sitcoms til I feel better.
You know who else chooses the humor route? Southwest Airlines! If you haven’t flown with them, you have missed some of the funniest safety announcements that you can imagine. On one of my last flights, the flight attendant was draping the life vest around himself. He said, “Don’t inflate this until you’re outside the plane but before you head out be sure to check your makeup because honey, if you’re wearing one of these, you’re going to be on TV!” Love this! They know people listen when you weave in humor and it totally defuses the stress so many people feel when they fly.
What makes you laugh out loud?
Time to start another list or maybe a laughter first aid kit if you’re up to it. Along with things that make you laugh out loud:
Make a list of funny movies, TV shows, songs, quotes
Create a few humor reminders – screen savers, charts, notes
Create a game night
Find a laugh buddy like my friend Annie was (if you listened to my Dunkin Donuts story, she was the other half of it)
Start a collection of Facebook or Pinterest funny pictures. Here’s mine:
As you go out about the day today, look for the funny, the humor in everyday life. Mine was when I slid under the car one icy morning before cell phones. It could have been a bad day but I decided the meaning and said it was funny…and it was. I laughed the whole day! Hope you do too!
P.S. Now you can choose to continue to the next day or wait until tomorrow. Either way, here's a link to the next chapter.