During these trying times of global distress, it is great to be reminded that March 20 is an International Happiness Day. I am grateful to a great blogger Renard of https://renardsworld.wordpress.com and his fabulous contributor Dr Sridhar for a wonderful post reminding all of us, Beautiful People, to celebrate this day with joy and laughter in spite of the pandemic. Let’s sing together with Bobby McFerrin:
Your brain is busily working for you, manufacturing biochemicals called endorphins. Research has shown that those incredible little hormones infuse your blood stream and circulate through your entire body even when you act AS IF you were joyful, not only when you actually are happy. Think about it, says Rabbi Zelig Pliskin: your experience is totally imaginary, yet your endorphin factory, your miraculous brain, still produces a healthy doze of joy, entirely free!
Yes, I am a certified Potter-head! But this image has a message to it. Rabbi Pliskin recalls a school principal who had “an interesting school policy. His teachers had to promote laughter before giving tests. In his experience, the students invariably got higher grades when they were in a humorous state. Endorphins produced by laughter enable a student’s brain to work at optimal level” (Life Is Now, Chapter 26).
Last year at this time, when the world was still turning in blissful unawareness of “the crowned virus,” our Lasting Joy Club (meetings put on hold for logistical reasons) practiced the best de-stressing technique of all, Laughter Yoga. We started with the 10 benefits of laughter, taken straight from https://thepurplealmond.com, and we thank lovely Tamara, an awesome blogger who promotes and inspires all aspects of wellness and happiness.
10 BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER – SHARES BENEFITS WITH AEROBIC EXERCISE:
- The movement of the diaphragm floods the body with oxygen.
- Releases the same endorphins which cause the effect known as “the runners high” In fact, it has been found that endorphins increase by approximately 27%
- Research shows that HGH (the anti-aging – human growth hormone) increased by 87% when subjects THOUGHT ABOUT watching a funny movie.
- Reduces stress hormone levels, such as cortisol and adrenaline.
- A good laugh burns 3 1/2 calories
- Exercises the abs, as well as the shoulders
- Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your life
- Helps eliminate negative emotions such as fear, sadness, and anger
- Improves circulation and cardiovascular health
- 15 minutes of laughter is equivalent to 2 hours of sleep
THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING WITHOUT HAVING TO RUN, IN FOUR STEPS
Step 1: Clapping and Warming-up Exercises – full finger-to-finger and palm-to-palm clapping, with movements, chanting and rhythm
Step 2: Deep Breathing Exercises – In between laughter exercises, participants do deep breathing exercises.
Step 3: Childlike Playfulness – Acting in a childlike way or swinging arms up into a Y shape with “thumbs up in childish exuberance and exhilaration“.
Step 4: Laughter Exercises – Three types of laughter exercises
- yogic laughter – based on yogic breathing
- playful laughter – Convert forced laughter into genuine laughter, as well as reduce shyness/inhibition
- value-based laughter – Increase positive feelings
The following lengthy video of our club get-together demonstrates these exercises in action. You may want to fast-forward to the few minutes of that part.
Since we are getting close to Pesach (Passover), when we celebrate deliverance from the distress of slavery, I am repeating one of my Passover recipes, found here.
Meanwhile, read or listen to a couple of jokes, watch a funny video, get excited, start your brain generating those happy endorphins, and perhaps, spare some time to listen to this amazing lecture:
BE WELL,BE HAPPY, AND STAY SAFE, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!