Friday, August 29, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Written by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter
Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body
Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.
With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.
Laughter is good for your health
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
|The Benefits of Laughter|
Physical Health Benefits:
Mental Health Benefits:
Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.
More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.
The link between laughter and mental health
- Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
- Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.
Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone
Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter and play also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.
Incorporating more humor and play into your daily interactions can improve the quality of your love relationships— as well as your connections with co-workers, family members, and friends. Using humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:
- Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
- Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
- Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
- Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.
Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.
Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with working out, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.
Here are some ways to start:
- Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
- Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.
- When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
- Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
One essential characteristic that helps us laugh is not taking ourselves too seriously. We’ve all known the classic tight-jawed sourpuss who takes everything with deathly seriousness and never laughs at anything. No fun there!
Some events are clearly sad and not occasions for laughter. But most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life–giving you the choice to laugh or not.
Ways to help yourself see the lighter side of life:
- Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
- Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
- Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
- 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, in the long run it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical.
- Deal with your stress. Stress is a major impediment to humor and laughter.
- Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.
The ability to laugh, play, and have fun with others not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and be more creative. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.
Life brings challenges that can either get the best of you or become playthings for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often transform it into an opportunity for creative learning.
Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they are confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative ability.
Here are two examples of people who took everyday problems and turned them around through laughter and play:
As laughter, humor, and play become an integrated part of your life, your creativity will flourish and new discoveries for playing with friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and loved ones will occur to you daily. Humor takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, creative, joyful, and balanced perspective.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.
Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention. When I decide to buy a birthday present, wiggle my toes, or call a friend, it all starts with intention.
The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish. In my book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the Law of Intention and Desire lays out the five steps for harnessing the power of intention to create anything you desire.
1. Slip into the gap.
Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation. Meditation takes you beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This is the ideal state in which to plant your seeds of intention
2. Release your intentions and desires
Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in the quiet field of all possibilities. After you set an intention, let it go — simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.
3. Remain centered in a state of restful awareness .
Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. Stay centered and refuse to be influenced by other people’s doubts or criticisms. Your higher self knows that everything is all right and will be all right, even without knowing the timing or the details of what will happen.
4. Detach from the outcome .
Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Attachment is based on fear and insecurity, while detachment is based on the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. Intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.
5. Let the universe handle the details .
Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Trust that infinite organizing power to orchestrate the complete fulfillment of your desires. Don’t listen to the voice that says that you have to be in charge, that obsessive vigilance is the only way to get anything done. The outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally. You have released your intentions into the fertile ground of pure potentiality, and they will bloom when the season is right.
40 Affirmations for love and relationships
By. Abiola Abrams From Shine.Yahoo.com http://shine.yahoo.com/40-positive-affirmations-love-relationships-giving-getting-keeping-174900766.html
- I am worthy of love.
- I have more love than I ever thought possible.
- I am so grateful for my incredible relationship.
- Good and positive love is flowing to me and through me at all times.
- I deserve to be loved.
- I want love and love wants me.
- I attract only healthy and loving people into my life.
- My lover accepts me and loves me just as I am.
- I treat others the way I enjoy being treated.
- I trust my own power and open the door to love.
- My soul mate loves me above all others.
- I am in a loving and supportive relationship.
- My partner believes in me and supports me fully.
- My love life is a priority.
- I have attracted my best mate.
- My heart is open to love.
- Love surrounds me every day in every way.
- The true lover in me recognizes the true lover in you.
- My relationship is loving, committed and long-lasting.
- I allow love to flow to me and through me.
- I allow myself to be loved fully.
- I am a magnet for my perfect, loving match.
- I am focused on love and beauty.
- My perfect partner loves and appreciates me.
- The love of my life is gorgeous inside and out.
- My partner is generous and kind.
- Loving and being loved feels wonderful.
- My soul mate knows me when we meet.
- I feel joy being in love.
- I only attract positive people into my life.
- I welcome love with open arms.
- I am loving and forgiving.
- I deserve to be treated well because I am worth loving.
- Being this lovable feels good.
- I love loving and I love being loved.
- I am always attracting perfect love.
- I am open, free and loving.
- My love respects me.
- I feel safe and secure whenever I am with my mate.
- I am always connected to my highest and best good.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Written by: JULIE MOSMULLER
Days come, days go. Some last an eternity, others fly by. Some are cheerful, others uneventful. Yet you can be sure that the sun and the moon will rise and set, that the birds will sing in the morning.
I used to have a busy corporate job in London. Once I learned to live my days mindfully, I noticed how I became much more relaxed. The days weren’t less stressful, but I wasn’t as stressed anymore. Instead, I was feeling grateful for my life.
I often help clients of my coaching practice improve their work-life balance. These five tips have helped them to anchor their days and have more fun. They gained time as they prioritized according to their values.
1. Wake up mindfully.
When your alarm rings, take a moment to notice the blank canvas of a new day. I always feel mornings are freshly quiet as the day is still unwritten. Don’t check your messages yet, and get present to this particular morning. Is the sky blue or gray? Are your dreams still with you? Are you feeling rested or restless?
Slowly turn your attention to the day ahead and set an intention. What matters most to you today? An example could be "I want a loving relationship," or "I want to deliver a flawless presentation." Repeat it a few times, write it down or pick an object like a bracelet or picture to remind you during the day. Once you’ve made your intention clear, you’ll be surprised how often it comes true, usually in an unexpected way.
2. Follow a morning practice.
Dedicate a part of your morning to a routine, such as yoga or meditation. If you prefer to putter around the house or go for a run, that’s fine too. Most importantly, create an oasis of calm so you can anchor yourself in your values, even if only for 10 minutes. If you have a family, carve out some time before everyone wakes up, or during your commute.
My own practice combines meditation and yoga. It normally lasts an hour, but I can shorten it to 30 minutes. Meditation stills my mind, and mindful breathing connects me to life’s flow. Yoga offers an opportunity to love my body. I add restorative or energizing poses according to my body's needs. Even after sleeping restlessly, 10 sun salutes will refresh me.
3. Love your food.
The food you take in makes a big difference to your day, but first make sure your food goes out! Rehydrating your body does wonders to kick start your digestion. I drink a liter and a half of lukewarm water and herbal tea every morning, ideally before starting my routine.
Then it's time to think about food! What are you craving? What does your body need? If you're fighting a cold, add turmeric or echinacea to your smoothie. If you're anticipating a demanding day, make a filling breakfast, like oatmeal. I mostly eat fruit and vegetables to complement the body’s nightly detox. Think of breakfast literally — better not to break your fast with a huge meal!
4. Keep it simple.
Now we're ready to move. Whatever comes your way, keep it simple. Flow with the day, observe what it brings, and play with it. Keep your mind cool, your heart open, and you'll make sharp, intuitive decisions.
It helps to set your priorities so that you’ll feel content about having written that article, or gone for a run. What is the one thing that you want to do today, if nothing else?
Combine being organized and flexible. I always leave free time so that on a beautiful day I can go out in nature. Do you allow yourself to do something spontaneous, like curling up in bed if you feel like it?
This is not selfish or self-indulgent. The more you do the things you love, the more fulfilled you’ll be. Consequently, you'll have more energy to grow and be available to the people you love.
Closing your day is as important as starting it. Some people list the things they’re grateful for. I always make sure to check out the night sky — watching the moon and stars connects me to the bigger picture of life.
At least 30 minutes before going to sleep, set your devices on airplane mode. Keep your bed for sleeping and only go there once you're ready to sleep. Set your alarm for the 7-9 hours of sleep you need plus a little extra to account for falling asleep. The more regular your sleeping, the easier your body will unwind and rejuvenate.
My body’s natural rhythm is to sleep early and wake up with the birds when a fresh new day is about to start!
Friday, July 25, 2014
Written by: DR. DANIELLE DOWLING
Return emails, do laundry, pay bills, make dinner, buy an anniversary gift, call your mother and go to the gym.
And then lather, rinse and repeat tomorrow.
It's easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to think of others. Small gestures of kindness can make someone else's entire day, make you feel good, and spread love near and far.
Here are 35 easy ways to radiate kindness:
1. Smile at people more! Start with your neighbor or your barista.
2. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile. I’m looking at you, Los Angeles.
3 Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give it to a co-worker.
4. Pay the toll for the car behind you.
5. Leave a nice note in the morning for your honey saying, “I know you’ll do a great job today!”
6. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made. Today’s a new day — let’s get on with it.
7. Drink from a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.
8. Give a generous tip to your waiter and leave a kind note on the bill!
9. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while. (That’s why they invented Facebook!)
10. Plan a vacation for your parents or someone near and dear to you.
11. Eat and buy local.
12. Compliment a stranger. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I tell them I love their hair, or shoes, or the way they pulled themselves together. They usually light up with a smile and I’m so happy I helped to make their day a good one!
13. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.
14. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.
15. Pay for your friend's portion of the dinner tab without them knowing! They’ll be so surprised when the receipt comes for you to sign!
16. Hold the elevator door for others.
17. Offer to babysit your friend's kids for free.
18. Resist the urge to honk at other cars on the road.
19. Be kind to someone you dislike. (I know this is a tough one! I struggle with it, too.)
20. Make a donation to a charity you care about.
21. Send a care package to your friends or coworkers in your field. This is so much fun! I’ll put together small boxes of stationery, cards, pens, candles, lip gloss and send it off to someone special!)
22. Let someone with just a few items go ahead of you at the cashier.
23. Practice being truly proud of all your accomplishments. It helps to start a gratitude list!
24. Adopt an animal from the shelter.
25. Let someone take your parking spot.
26. Donate books to the local library or bookstore. Clears out clutter and gives your books a new and deserving home!
27. Tell your honey how particularly ravishing he or she looks today!
28. Leave extra time on a parking meter.
29. Fill the refrigerator with your roommate's or partner’s favorite foods.
30. Offer to cover a shift for a coworker who needs to leave early.
31. Open the door for someone.
32. Sit with someone who is eating alone.
33. Tell someone you had a disagreement with that you're sorry.
34. Offer to pick up your friend's children after school.
35. Write notes of appreciation and love to three people who have changed your life for the better.
So easy! Imagine how much better the world would be if we all took a little time to make it a sweeter, warmer place. I’m starting now — are you with me?