Tuesday, June 8
What Can I Do? I Can Laugh...
I think about this question a lot. What can I do to improve myself? Can't we assume that in the process of bettering ourselves, we not only improve our relationships with others, but even help improve the world, albeit in a tiny way? Think about it -- if everyone did their tiny part, what a wonderful world it would be.
Gandhi said, "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world...as in being able to remake ourselves."
For women this is important... (not underestimating the importance of men's feelings, but pointing out things as I see them from my personal perspective.) Women tend to be more sensitive to their surroundings than most men, and we tend to be able to orchestrate the mood of our environments. You know the old sayings about 'mom being happy', etc...
It can be a double-edged sword for sure, but when we use our power for good and not evil, life can be sweet.
I did a little experiment recently, and was pleased with the outcome. My husband is a very quick-witted, funny guy. To give you an example, his "About Me" section on his Facebook page reads: "Taking the burden of being correct off of you since 1964" (1964 being the year he was born.) Well, after 13 years of being together, I know he's going to have something funny to say every 2.4 minutes so I don't always laugh out loud. In fact, I realized that a lot of the time I was just kind of nodding my head to acknowledge he'd spoken, then going on about my business.
For my experiment, I made sure to, at the very least, give a little giggle whenever he said something that I truly found funny. Before long, my laughter came easily, not feeling forced or fake. The best part of the experiment was that he genuinely seemed to have a lifted mood as well, maybe even a little more confident. Now when I feel myself slipping back into 'nod-mode' I remind myself how easy it is to laugh, and how it brings a lift to everyone around.
A study done at the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) found that laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow. The study went on to say that lots of laughter along with an active sense of humor can actually reduce your risk of having a heart attack. They found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease! Also, neuroscientists at the University College London concluded that laughter really is contagious: the brain responds to the sound of laughter and preps the muscles in the face to join in the mirth. Imagine that...laughter really is good medicine!
So my conclusion is that my tiny part to try and make the world a better place, at the very least, can be to smile easily and laugh often. Laugh and the world laughs with you!
Posted by Team Chastain at 4:38 PM