Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Our Brand (Part 3) -- Laugh


It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and anyone who knows me knows that I love to laugh.  When I get stressed out, I usually start cracking jokes.  It is my coping mechanism.  But what is it about laughing that really helps a person?

According to the Mayo Clinic the benefits of laughter have several positive effects on a person.

Short-term benefits

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.

Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension: Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.


Long-term effects

Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up, though. It's also good for you over the long haul.

Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and make you feel happier.

We want to encourage you to laugh - A LOT!  It is OK to laugh at yourself when you do something utterly stupid!  Goodness knows that I do that quite often. 

Take for example throwing myself off the end of a treadmill.  Even though we thought I had broken my arm, I laughed about it.  The workers at the Rec Center thought I had lost my mind, but when I explained how ridiculous I must have looked, they laughed too.  It not only relieved my stress, but theirs as well.  You can bet that some of them were wondering if this crazy redheaded lady was going to try and sue the town for getting hurt on their property.  But by laughing at my own misfortune, I assured them that I took full responsibility for my own stupidity.  And yes, I am fine now.  :)

When laughter is shared it creates a bond between you and the other person or people.

In this day and age of LOL, ROFL, etc. do you actually laugh out loud?  I don't know anyone who actually rolls on the floor laughing, unless they are getting tickled.  Do you, when you type that, or are you just giving it lip service? 

Try actually laughing out loud and see if it helps you!  If you can't find something to laugh about, try watching some silly cat videos on YouTube.  It is next to impossible to not start laughing.  Watch a silly movie.  Get into a tickle fight, though me careful, Keith and I have been in a couple of them that have turned out painful!  Don't be afraid to get laugh lines around your eyes. 

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.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Our Brand (Part 2) -- Live

Webster's Dictionary gives these two examples of "Live":
—live it up
:  to live with gusto
— live with
:  to put up with :  accept, tolerate
If we go based on these ideas, which one do you want to do?

On our way back from a summer business function, Keith and I came up with our own ideas on how we want to live and it is every bit the first example.
  • To live life richly
  • Deeply
  • Deliberately
  • Fully
  • Without hesitation
  • Passionately
  • Purposely
  • Faith filled
  • Boldly
  • Without regrets
  • With the belief that we are worthy of blessings
We don't want to have to settle for anything.  We want to live with gusto!  We want to explore the world.  OK - really, there are a few places that I have no interest in, but if Keith wants to go, I will go with him because I want to LIVE with him. 

We want our lives to be such that when people see us, they know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are not only living life to the fullest now, but that we will be living it to the fullest tomorrow, and the day after that, and all of our days to come.

We don't want to live a settle for life.  We are worth more than that!  YOU are worth more than that!  We are worth the abundance of time, money, prosperity, health and everything else that it takes to live "with gusto."

We are working to live deliberately.  One blog writer posted:  It means that we examine our hearts and minds closely. So that we can always represent ourselves completely. We try to know which of our attitudes and reactions are true to us and which are from a tattered and tired old useless hard-wiring that could use some updating. It means we can respond, versus react, to people, places and times and be fully a part of what's around us."

It is time to stop reacting to the world around us.

Here is a link to a poem written by Linda Ellis: http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

How do you want to live your life, your "Dash" if you will?  Do you want it to be with gusto, or do you merely want to put up with it, tolerate it?

As for Keith and me, we choose gusto!