How often do you smile? Though smiling may be the last thing we feel like doing at times, especially when we are feeling stressed or in pain it can actually do us the world of good precisely at those moments when we feel least like doing so. Just the simple act of moving your facial muscles in a certain direction in preference to another triggers your body in such a way that your whole state of emotion can change almost instantly. All you need to do is be willing to stop taking yourself so seriously and SMILE.
Why don't you try a little experiment right here, right now. Firstly let yourself become still for a moment. Next take a deep breath in and then allow your face muscles to relax and smile your best smile. Become aware of how you feel, just from smiling. Now frown and feel the shift in your body and in your emotional state. Feel the difference? Motivational speaker Les Giblin said “If you're not using your smile, you're like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no check book. "
Smile as often as you remember. Did you know that it's the second most contagious facial expression next to yawning? It will override negativity and open you into a much warmer feeling, something akin to benevolent self-acceptance.
You can laugh on purpose.
Some people find this practice a little awkward because they are used to laughing more spontaneously but actually your body doesn't know the difference. That's right, it doesn't know the difference and produces ‘happiness’ chemicals anyway so why not have a go? You could even be a bit more creative and try it in different forms like a lion laugh, mouse laugh, bird laugh, donkey laugh, monkey. . . if you are brave enough! Women tend to laugh in a more “sing - song" way, while men more often grunt or snort. Some great benefits include, instant relaxation, often ensuring a good night's sleep, boosting the immune system and counteracting stress, depression and anxiety.
Take a look at these facts if you need further proof of the benefits. It has been calculated that children laugh on average about 500 times a day and by the time we become adults we laugh only 15 times and in hospitals it goes down to almost zero. How serious can we get? Laughter researcher, Dr William Fry, suggests that 100 laughs a day are equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine! What a fun way to do an aerobic workout and tone your muscles. 15 minutes of laughter has the relaxing effect of meditating for 8 hours, 10 minutes of laughter has the relaxing effect of 2 hours sleep.
Laughing or smiling not only relaxes us and brings feelings of happiness and joy, it can even help us to gain new insights. It becomes much easier to think creatively about a problem than when we are focused on feeling helpless, worthless or inadequate, easier to talk about any uncomfortable issues or concerns when there is humour in it.
Humour and love, laughter and a big grin are the origin of Clown Therapy, opening yourself to innocent fun and laughing at things that go wrong, being the eternal optimist. Compassion, joy, love, and humour are essential to a healthy life. Why do we we call a funny person “the LIFE of the party"? Think about it. Laughter brings a happy glow to your face and makes your eyes shine. I think that is what is so enchanting about children when they laugh, they have such wonderful shining eyes. Dr. Thomas Sydenham a seventeenth-century physician claimed that:
"The arrival of a good clown exercises more beneficial influence upon the health of a town than of twenty asses laden with drugs . "
Imagine army generals giving up on the “war room", and going instead to a “love and humour" room to brainstorm an end to violence. At the Pentagon, U. S. Army Reserve Col. James Scott runs laughter programs as a way of dealing with stress in the families of soldiers serving in war zones abroad. He said. “When you laugh, the brain stops thinking. It's a proven way to keep your mental balance. " Laughter is widely seen as a viable preventive technique for coping with stress.
I believe that fun is as important as love and both are more important than anger or fear in terms of living a long, healthy and happy life.
Joy Idries shares her passion for Spiritual Growth, Healing and Fun through her Writing, Teleseminars, Videos and Workshops. If you want to learn how to get in touch with your inner light and joy through laughter, to reduce physical and emotional pain AND boost your immune system all at the same time, claim your FREE E-COURSE ‘The Benefits of Laughter and Playing On Purpose’ now at http://www.clownfocustherapy.com ~ Also see more at http://www.instantnaturalpainrelief.com