Sweat Nation! I'd like to start today's post by expanding on what we stand for. It's the day after the mass shooting in Vegas. It's easy to fall into fear, and begin to point fingers. Empathy and listening to our family, friends, and neighbors is the call to action I suggest for us Sweat Nation.
Pointing fingers, calling someone crazy, and individualizing ourselves into a corner more I fear is the reaction. This will prove to continue to put distance between us.
Take a moment today to embrace, care, and listen to one another. regardless if you agree with what any other person is saying. The initial emotional reaction is to be expected. There will be time to discuss and deliberate what to do about it, but today, let's be the Yang to the Yin and lead with empathy, care, and Love.
With that being said today we have a special guest post from Morgyn Danae. Morgyn has been working with Sweat Nation Clients and has many years of experience in movement and mindset.
She is touching on the importance of laughter which is a great practice to share with someone. I'll let Morgyn take it from here!
“We don't laugh because we're happy – we're happy because we laugh.”
We all know that our society and planet as a whole is facing serious challenges to its well-being. And with a summer season like the one we’ve had this year, special measures are called for. We can comfort ourselves by remembering that we’re all in this together, doing the best we can.
How can we lift our hearts, brighten our moods, and boost our spirits, especially in the face of widespread conflict and disillusionment?
How about a good-old-fashioned belly laugh?
In a scene in the Woody Allen film “Melinda and Melinda”, the characters explore a fascinating portrayal of the flavors of tragedy and comedy. They replay the same scene as a tragedy and then as a comedy to demonstrate that the difference is all in the approach. The comedic version is upbeat and humorous with happy music whereas the tragedy is heavy and serious.
It may not apply in every single moment but bringing some form of love and levity will always offer encouragement, comfort, and healing.
I’ve accepted that I can be a goofy, quirky person (where appropriate, hopefully). It comes in very handy, especially in the face of obstacles, challenges, and trials. I already know the polar opposite experience, having undergone and recovered from severe depression and major weight gain due to the medications taken as crisis intervention. Initially, I had to be willing to give myself permission to smile and laugh, even through the pain, which gave me more courage and joy. Step by step, this built my inner and outer strength to heal my heart, reclaim my body, and rebuild my life.
A cardiologist at the University of MD Medical Center in Baltimore found laughing increases circulation as much as a treadmill!
exercises the diaphragm, foundational core, and breathing muscle
increases oxygen intake and stimulates the heart and lungs
relieves stress, anxiety, fear, anger
boosts energy levels
helps retain a more youthful face
15 min of laughter=2 hours of sleep
A study done by researchers Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan at the Loma Linda University in California found that laughter is great for overall health…
lowers blood pressure,
boosts t-cells increasing immune function,
releases endorphins (natural painkillers) and boosts serotonin-both “feel good” hormones also stimulated by exercise
reduces stress hormones (excessive cortisol suppresses immune system function, causes infertility, digestive problems)
supports healthy weight (cortisol is a major cause of weight gain)
Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Rhonda Lee, M.A.Ed., says,
“Laughter brings us fully to the present moment, the same goal as meditation. It is during this pause that we are able to redirect our thoughts without trying, and a radical shift in perspective can occur.”
Laughter yoga, laughter meditation, laughter therapy, humor therapy are now offered. Laughing together increases social connection and bonding, reducing isolation and loneliness.
More communal cultures around the world know the power of humor and laughter. And, of course, children are the masters of spontaneous laughter and fun. Those of us in the modern, industrialized world, with our tendency to isolate and escape into the mind with technology, can learn a lot from this communal spirit and more heart-centered approach to living.
Psychologist Dr. Steve Sultanoff encourages people to open up to humor when they feel ready after a tragic loss and offers this quote by George Bernard Shaw:
“Life does not cease to be funny when someone dies, any more than is ceases to be serious when someone laughs.”
It actually takes more effort to frown than to smile. How often do you frown, scowl, smile, laugh, really laugh on a daily basis? Watch how your perspective and mood changes. You just might be amazed (and amused).
by Morgyn Danae, CPT, LMT