Laughter. Do it. Lots.


Laughter. It really is the best medicine.

Picture this; I’m standing, knee deep in the social media universe, sipping a delectable cup of Verve coffee and contemplating a raucous cacophony of people-posted-pictures. I slurp away and scroll through… then, I stumble upon something that takes my breath away:

laughter is the fireworks of the soul

Almost instantaneously my mind flashes to those brilliant, bright explosions of light, sound and color. “Yeah,” I think, “laughter is just like that; a spark, a tickle, a quick hit of heat, sound, and joy.” And, in the nature of fireworks, it always manages to make us feel so, well, little-kid-good.

Why, do you suppose, that is?

Infants smile within days of being born and laugh out loud within weeks. Unsurprisingly, laughter is an intimate piece of every single language in the world. So what is it, exactly, about that lovely laugh?! How does the sheer act of smiling, of laughing aloud, make our bodies hum with yumminess and delight?

As it turns out, those thoughts lead to further sleuthing, and that sleuthing turned me onto tons of scientific, measurable and repeatable reasons we should all snort, snicker, chuckle and guffaw. Loudly. Often. With soulful and reckless abandon.

Laughter. It really IS the best medicine.

The Top 5 Reasons to Laugh out Loud

little kids laughing1. Laughter decreases stress!

Scientific studies have shown that a mere two minutes after giving a good ol’ guffaw, our levels of both cortisol and epinephrine (notorious stress chemicals responsible for suppressing the immune system, increasing fat storage, and sapping our energy) decrease by almost 15%! 

2. Laughter lowers blood pressure!

Who knew a little joy could do so much?! (okay, okay, we at The Well Being Center did) The act of  laughing (a little, or a lot) has a two-fold effect on your cardiovascular system (hooray for heart health!). One bout of laughter simultaneously decreases blood pressure AND increases blood flow.

3. Laughter decreases pain!

Did you know that endorphins are a beautiful and brilliant way for your body to mitigate and manage pain? We naturally release these delicious chemicals while sleeping, exercising, and (you guessed it) laughing. Buy more chuckle-enducing comedies, and decrease your NSAID consumption! Win. Win.

4. Laughter melts away muscle tension!

Results in one scientific study showed our deepest levels of muscle tension and tone decreasing for up to forty-five minutes after letting loose a laugh or two. Feeling a little stiff? Sore? Stuck? Just sneak in a laugh or two.

5. Laughter is great exercise!

Want that svelte figure? Laugh you way into aerobic health! Although it may seem a bit surprising, it has been proven that laughing 100x will give you the same exercise impact as 10 minutes on a rowing machine, or 15 minutes on a stationary bicycle!! 

So go ahead. Laugh more! Ignite those soul-full fireworks… and sit back and watch your stress, pain, and muscle tension just melt away. Now that’s good medicine.

Dr. Nicole

Sources:

Godfrey, Jodi R. “Toward Optimal Health: The Experts Discuss Therapeutic Humor.” Journal of Women’s Health. June 2004. (http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/1540999041280972)
McGhee, Paul. “Humor and Nursing I: Impact of Humor and Laughter on Physical Health.” Corexcel. Feb. 2010. (http:www.corexcel.com/courses4/humor.nursing.part1.title.htm)
Pattilo, Charlene Gayle Story and Joanne Itano. “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”  Oncology Nursing Update 2001. April 2001. (http://www.utmb.edu/gem/pdfs/laughter.pdf)

 

 

How being energy neutral is sinking your ship!

The energy spectrum of the universe:

Imagine the entirety of the universe exists along a single, solitary, line where each tiny piece is categorized based on its available energy. At one pole of this line exists the impoverished space of the energy poor, while at the other the wealth of energy rich. In between? The dreaded wasteland of energy neutral.

The Energy Spectrum

Its important to note biological systems are constantly shuffling themselves to and fro amidst this spectrum. It is part of the ebb and flow of life, literally. Before birth we are assimilating wisdom, skills, systems, even cells, becoming dense, rich sources of energy. At death we are dispersing our wisdom, sharing our skill sets, watching our systems degenerate, and becoming energy poor. Its not only life, its physics! In every moment, in every interaction, we are either assimilating energy in endothermic reactions or losing energy via exothermic reactions. If we participate in too many exothermic ‘reactions’ or ‘interactions,’ where we lose energy, we will begin to slide towards the abysmal energy poor end of the spectrum.

What’s the purpose in pointing out all of this?

Imagine a beautiful and buoyant craft full of vim, vigor and vitality, whisking across the whitecaps. That’s the ship of energy rich. It’s the ship we all hope to hop on and sail effortlessly into the sunset.

Now imagine an equally beautiful ship in the tumultuous throws of a breached hull, water cascading in, with the sea reaching up to swallow it entirely. That’s the sinking ship of energy poor, a ship we would all be actively working to evade. If we didn’t? Eventual, assured demise.

Somewhere in between the two extremes sits potentially the most precarious boat of them all. This particular sea-faring vessel has placating ocean views, a decent deck, and an unidentified and unpresumptuous hole in its hull. Its inhabitants are constantly bucketing up bails of water and tossing them back to the sea. The ship stays afloat. The water keeps coming in. Its people? They are trying. Trying to stay alive. Trying to make it work. Moderating some sort of ‘holding pattern.’ Sometimes they sneak in a seascape or two, and perhaps they even begin to bail water with glamours new buckets, or sing along to their most favorite songs. Despite their best efforts, though, this boat will only ever achieve a high level state of managing because, well, they are only energy neutral.

Its this last ship, sadly, that most of us spend the majority of time sailing on.  Do you feel like you are being crushed amidst the ‘grind’ of daily life? Been meaning to make changes? Trying to make it work?

STOP! You can spend your entire life swimming amidst the bailing-buckets of the energy neutral boat… You’ll be living, but not thriving. Instead, ditch the bail-pails, and step onto the sunset-sailing ship of the energy rich.

What’s the difference between being energy neutral and energy rich? 

Commitment… Not the sort of commitment that creates white padded rooms and retraining orders. The sort that is ruled by pure, prime and unbridled passion. Being completely dedicated to an idea, action, relationship or cause is the defining factor that creates an environment of being energy rich. That effortlessly gliding sunset-bound boat is skimming across the sea because it has a path, a compass, a course. That ship is energy rich because it has a purpose, fueled by passion and manifesting as commitment.

Have you ever heard anyone answer a question with “I’m trying?” Yep. Energy neutral. Stop trying and start doing. If the “doing” is difficult, take a moment to check in with yourself. Is this ‘path’ you’re charging ahead on congruent with who you are? Commitment to an incongruent cause is, also, going to set you back on that bail-laden craft stuck in energy neutral.

So, to quote the brilliance of a tiny, green, sage:

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda

Need help getting connected to who you are, and setting your proverbial compass? Looking for a little assistance in the passion and power of commitment?

Come see us.

An entrainment is an amazing way to discover your path & purpose!

I look forward to seeing you,

Dr. Nicole

 

 

Change: Shed the Fear, Start Something New!

fear of change

Despite our better efforts, ‘change’ can often come across as a big, bad, behemoth of a word. Calling to mind any tidbit of transformation can create a little anxiety, foster a little fear. That new diet we meant to start in January? Those new sports we intended to take up this spring? The way we wanted our relationships to change? Somehow, amidst those six simple letters …C…H…A…N…G…E… are cultural connotations of calamity, instability, and uncertainty (*insert audible gasps of horror, here*). Let’s face it: no one likes change.

The truth of the matter is, there is an evolutionary advantage at the heart of all that resistance. Unbeknownst to you,  there are thousands upon thousands of years of biology preprogramming you to have an initial, innate aversion to change. Imagine this: an ancient, roving tribe stumbles upon a brand new bush, lush and loaded with tiny, beautiful black berries. It looks different. It smells different. They’ve never seen it before. Do they eat the new, unknown fruit? Do they change their diet?

Those who don’t leave their comfort zone and consume those glossy black berries manage to avoid intense nausea, fatigue, muscle failure and hallucinations now commonly associated with atropa belladonna, or nightshade. Having an aversion to something new became an asset for those early peoples. And those early peoples inevitably became your ancestors. You could say you’ve inherited a long line of the gene ‘scared of change!’

Its time to buck that biological, back-grabbing monkey!

Three Simple Steps to Shed Your Fear and Start Something New

1. The first step to creating glorious, grand, and oft-times scary change is to first become aware of that deep physical aversion. Can you feel how tight and anxious just thinking about the next step can make you? Do you see how it makes your body hunch? Can you hear how shallow and small your breath becomes? Somato Respiratory Integration, especially the Stage 1 exercise, is great for helping you tap into this!

2. Once you are aware of the physical and emotional way change can effect you, begin to acknowledge it. Say “I can feel myself get anxious” “I am scared” “Change makes me feel small” or any other statement that rings true for your own, unique, reaction to change.

3. And then, the magic of the third step: accept it! While you’re in the midst of the sometimes scary experience of newness… of uncertainty… of the unknown… remember all the millions of folks who have come before you. Recognize that this reaction was once an appropriate adaptation. Accept that, sometimes, you will feel scared and hesitant when broached with something different. Because, in the end, your body can associate ‘different’ with ‘dangerous.’ Accept it. Its okay!

By accepting exactly where you are at you can transition through it, moving forward, and shedding your old fear. After awareness has blossomed, acknowledgement has happened, and acceptance has occurred you can step forward and start to create change!

Whats the best way for YOU to start movin’ n shakin’?

Although you may not yet know it there is a perfect, energy rich, efficient, and effortless way for you to approach change. And this amazing approach is unique unto you! We all have special ways of initiating and dealing with change, and the key is to identify what ways and strategies work best for you. Remember when it was so easy to start, and the newness just seemed to seam effortlessly into your life? And also remember a different time, when the change seems to drag you down and pull you under?

The truth of the matter is: in the first example you were probably using a perfect sequencing of strategies, and in the second they get all jumbled. We, at The Well Being Center (and in other Network offices around the world) call these strategy sequences the Triad of Change. As Dr. Donald Epstein put it, “All change includes structure, behavior, and perception. Plainly stated, for each structure, there is an accompanying behavior and perception; for each behavior, there is a structure and a perception; and, for each perception, there are certain structures and behaviors that define and support it.”

Having magnificent and manageable experiences of transition, transformation, and change is all about the order in which you use the pieces of perception, behavior, and structure. Its important to note, there is no ‘right’ way to order them, only what is right for you!

So how do you know what’s right for you? Are you ready to start your energy-rich experience of something new?! Check out our Learning Center and read more about the Triad of Change. Schedule an entrainment. We will help you find what works best for you!

Prepare to say syonara to that silly and scared monkey on your back! Get ready to dance your way to and through your next big change with grace, connectedness, and ease!

I’ll see you soon.

Dr. Nicole

 

How to Precondition Yourself to “Stay in the Game” This Spring…

San Juan River

It was too early in the morning to smile, yet. The Sierra was still a silent and somewhat foreboding presence haphazardly spitting first rain, then ice, then snow. It was an unassuming but constant reminder: a storm is coming. Pack quick. Leave fast. Go now.

Read More »

Feeling the Flow: connecting to creativity and one-ness

wave flow

 

… the moment draws open as time itself seems to dilate… somehow the very second you’re living in seems to drip by in a languid, lethargic way… you focus, simultaneously, on everything unfolding around you… aware of so much, and thinking so little… suddenly your sense of self seems to simply dissolve as your awareness and your actions merge magically into one synchronized, intuitive, and creative moment… Read More »

Phil-a-what?! The beauty of self love…

 

Most realize the inherent value of love, but do we recognize the variety? 

While the depths of the English language may not do ‘love’ much justice (we really only have the one word to describe the plethora of positive emotions experienced during everything from an exquisite meal, to a favorite past-time, or a passionate, entwined embrace) the Greek language DOES: they use upwards of six! Given the inherent impact of the words we use (check out our blog post, here, on their power-packed potential) our limited vocabulary can limit our ability to feel, express, and emote the full range of emotions that fill up, and fall under, the category we call love. Read More »

Are you energy rich? How Your Words Reflect & Create Your Reality

 

Are you all fired up? … swimming in ease and effortlessness? navigating a life of abundance? … are you really energy rich?

You’d be surprised at the truth! Many of us may answer the above question with a quick and resounding ‘yes!’ followed by a litany of lovely reasons as to why: ‘I eat organic!’ ‘I’m dedicated to moving and sweating!’ ‘I sleep deeply!’ ‘I get entrained!’ ‘I have fulfilling relationships!.’ Read More »

Reorganizational Healing: How to Get More Out of What You’ve Got!

How do you get more out of what you’ve got when it comes to your health and well being?  How do you turn what has been limiting and painful into extraordinary progress?  How do you get yourself out of a rut and launch yourself into an incredible future?

To answer these questions, it is important to first understand the critical differences between two paradigms in healing:  Restorative vs. Reorganizational… Read More »

How to Get Happier and Healthier. 10 Ways to Grow More Gratitude!

gratitude turns what we have into enough

With the Thanksgiving holiday looming on the horizon you may find yourself daydreaming fondly about family, friends, food, and even the enviable turkey induced coma. Or worse, you could be wrapped up in visions of traffic and to-do lists! Though it may be the season for increased stress, there is hope! Read More »

On Authenticity: Are YOU Contributing Something Unique to the Heritage of Humankind?

Who ARE you, authentically?

It’s a question that seems to loiter… to linger… lurking around the edges of your consciousness. A challenge whispered secretly to your insides or thrown, overtly off canyon walls.

What is your answer? Read More »