Week 11 – LOL (Laughing Out Loud) Creative Courage Challenge
“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” ― Robert Frost
As Artists and Creatives we look for patterns in our art, in nature and in structure. As humans we look for patterns within ourselves; and often those patterns are subconsciously formed in our minds. When we think one thought often enough and it becomes a habit to think it. The problem is just that we often find negative and not so helpful patterns in our lives based on just one or two of our life experiences. Or perhaps by misjudging or miscommunication in a situation we begin to believe something that possibly is not true at all. Unfortunately often times our minds are telling us that they are true because we have conditioned ourselves to believe our patterns.
For example you may be at an art show and as you are glancing around while setting up you see another artist and she frowns and looks away. Most often when we are stuck in patterns we may think “Every time I see her, she looks at me funny..she must not like me.” It is this type of thought which may lead to actions such as avoiding that artist, which in turn cuts us off completely from an entire aspect of our possible life path. This other creative may well be a great wealth of information and inspiration that we have now convinced ourselves will never happen. When the truth may be that she didn’t even see you or was not aware you were looking at her.
“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” ― Maya Angelou
When we become too identified with our thoughts we’ll believe anything they tell us. So what we must do is create a more helpful practice, which is to not take ourselves (or our thoughts) too seriously. We have already learned to not Judge Judy other people, so let’s not Judge Judy ourselves (or again, our thoughts) either.
FACT: Smiling Makes Us Happy
Smiling loads the body with endorphins, known as the hormone of happiness, which is usually generated by way of exercise. So simply smiling will not only make you happier, it also immediately makes you more attractive, eluding that you are pleasant and sincere.
FACT: Smiling Makes Us Look Younger
One smile may involve anywhere from 3-53 facial muscles, which of course keeps our facial muscles strong, in turn they will support the facial tissue more prominently; which over time will help you look younger than your years!
FACT: Laughing Improves Our Physical Health
Laughing out loud (yes, LOL) for 20 seconds is the equivalent of jogging in place for 3 minutes! If you laugh out loud for a full minute, if you haven’t wet your pants – which is generally what that type of laughter incurs – that is about the same as 15 minutes of exercise. Laughing Out Loud uses approximately 80 different muscles in our whole body. The vibration of the laughter creates a faster heartbeat, increasing blood pressure, in turn improving the oxygen level in our blood which lowers stress and helps our bodies boost its immune system. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.
FACT: Laughing Improves Our Emotional Health
You cannot feel angry anxious or sad while in the midst of laughing; laughter dissipates distressing emotions. Humor shifts perspective, bringing stressful or painful situations into a more realistic less threatening light. It can help us to relax and recharge, reducing stress and increasing energy; enabling you to focus and accomplish more.
“And I have one of those very loud, stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something, I’d probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up.” ― J.D. Salinger
FACT: Laughing Makes Us Smarter (and More Creative)
Laughter stimulates BOTH sides of the brain at the same time, allowing us to get messages quicker and remember them longer. The left brain is logical, sequential, objective, rational, detail oriented, analytical and fact oriented. It includes visual perception, language, attention, memory, and focus. The right brain is innovative, whole picture oriented, subjective, holistic, intuitive, synthesizing, and emotionally alert. It includes general well-being, stress management, problem solving, spatial reasoning, integration of ideas, multiple intelligence use, and ability to collaborate, and to be thankful. Imagination rules in the right brain, as do beliefs, using symbols or icons, and taking risks for renewed possibilities. We all learn quicker and retain better when we are having fun while we learn. Laughing will engage both sides of the brain, in turn increases innovation and creativity.
FACT: Laughing Strengthens Relationships
Laughing, when it is share, helps to bind people together and increases intimacy and happiness. Humor and playful communication connects us with others by triggering positive feelings and fostering an emotional association. Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping any relationship fresh and exciting; it acts as a strong buffer against stress, disappointment and general disagreements. Humor is a powerful and effective way in which to heal disagreements and resentments, it unites people during difficult times.
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” ― Charles Dickens
FACT: Laughing Is Infectious
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. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, sneeze or yawn. Sophie Scott a neuroscientist at the University College London found that laughter is in fact infectious and explains why on this MSNBC report.
EXPERIMENT: I double dog dare (yes, I indeed broke protocol, and jumped directly to the Double Dog Dare! – Don’t make me jump to the ultimate TRIPLE Dog Dare!!!) you to listen to this 1:44 video of a baby laughing or this 1:41 video of a baby laughing this and NOT laugh!! I do not believe it is possible. It can NOT be done! It’s just too fun, giggly and infectious!! It is completely worth a few minutes out of your day! I know you want to click them, go ahead, and get yourself a good giggle! If not both, just listen to one of them! If you can do it without laughing even a little, you might as well stop reading right now, and get back to whatever serious business that is your life!
So… our challenge this week is to go forth in our daily lives and sprinkle them with humor! Any kind of humor! Be more spontaneous, let go of defensiveness, judgements, criticisms and doubts. Watch a funny movie, go see a comedy show, have a joke telling contest, giggle instead of rolling your eyes…. Smile and look younger, giggle and improve your health, laugh and help others be smarter, healthier and more attractive too!
Let me get you started….What illness did everyone on the Enterprise catch?….Chicken Spocks! :) You smiled, I know you did…keep it going!
JeaneMargherite Meria Murray McMahon Schintgen
(that’s my name, don’t wear it out!)
Check me out in my other realms…..
Posted on March 9, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged artisan, gemstones, shimmerlings, challenge, creatives, building courage, jeanemargherite, jmms, artistic courage, courage builders, inspiration, creative process, Building Creative Courage, LOL, Laughing Out Loud, smiling, laughing, Happiness, Silly Joke, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, J.D. Salinger, Charles Dickens, Laughing Baby, Laughing Baby Video. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.