Tag Archives: Laughter

Happiness, Joy, Laughter and Fun

Laughtacephalus

Laughtacephalus, is a word I just coined to describe the idea of “joy on the brain.”  Laughtacephalus is a strategy for healing and health that taps into positive circuits of happiness, joy, laughter and fun in the brain in order to effect rewiring as an antidote to negativity and suffering, and as a pathway to a healthier brain.  When properly applied happiness, joy, laughter and fun can help reverse the downward spiral of health, and promote a robust recovery.   Oh, I should warn you to watch out!  Laughtacephalus  has contagious qualities!

Happiness and Joy

In “The Book of Joy” (pg. 14) Dalai Lama states, “I believe the purpose of life is to find happiness … The ultimate source of happiness is within us.”  He defines happiness (pg. 35) as “satisfaction”, and joy as “great  satisfaction.”

In his view, both happiness and joy can be of two types (pg. 53), one experienced through sensory pleasure (eating, sex, etc) and the other experienced through the mind (compassion, love, generosity, etc).  The sensory route to happiness is seen as fleeting and the mental route as more enduring and dependable.

Both sensory and mental forms of happiness and joy can be applied and shared for health and healing.  However, better ways are needed for monitoring and administering happiness and joy.  We have not invested enough effort into understanding how to apply them and often people go for days without experiencing laughter or joy.  We need to develop a diet of happiness and joy.

One of the secrets of happiness and joy is that you can have it for yourself if you provide it to others.  Interesting how this works!  Usually one needs to choose whether to keep something or share it.  But with happiness and joy you can share it and keep it at the same time.  Of course, you can also make others happy at the expense of your own joy, but then you will become depleted.

Smiling, Laughter and Fun

The physical manifestations of happiness and joy are genuine smiling, laughter and fun.  Do you experience hearty laughter on a daily basis?  Do you have fun at work every day?  Are your smiles genuine or are they just a mask that you wear?  We have been conditioned to think that fun and laughter are luxuries when in reality they need to be placed at the center of life.  We need to work just as hard at adding fun and genuine laughter to our lives as we do for the sake of survival.

Once again,  social interaction is the key and the goal should be sharing laughter and fun in a compassionate and caring setting.

Challenge yourself to find the forms of social interaction that increase happiness and fun for all involved.  This is a big challenge since many social interactions have become too formalized to allow for the spontaneity that comes with joy and fun.  Often there are hidden agendas associated with formal social gatherings that hinder pure fun or joy.

If you have taken part in fun and joyful activities lately feel free to share them.

It surely helps if you have young children since they naturally understand the importance of joy and spontaneous fun.  For example, my daughter is teaching me how to do cartwheels.  Here’s a warning though – you may need to check with your doctor before trying to keep up with a child that is  having fun!

“Be the change you wish to see in this world.”  Gandhi

I would love to see more happiness, joy, fun and laughter in my life, therefore I must find ways to grow by applying  laughtacephalus to my own brain.

We must be willing to grow new connections in our brains if the world is to become a better place.  Start reconnecting with laughtacephalus today!

 

 

Motion Commotion and Laughter

400px-Drowning_in_ball_pit
Playground fun at any age! Photograph by Jordi Payà from Barcelona, Catalonia via Wikimedia Commons

Movement may be one of our greatest allies in the quest for health and healing.  We all know that we should exercise to stay healthy, but beyond that there is growing evidence that intermittent movement is essential for health as well.  That is, exercise after long periods of inactivity may not reverse the effect of inactivity.  For example, Dr. Mercola recommends that ” a reasonable goal is to get up four times every hour or every 15 minutes while you are sitting.”

In particular, the combination of movement with play, fun and laughter may pack a huge healthy punch.  Research supports that laughter may have the following benefits:

  • improves your immune system and protects your heart
  • boost your energy
  • diminish pain
  • protect you from the damaging effects of stress.
  • helps increase happiness and intimacy

This means that we really need to rethink our work environments so that we can incorporate motion, play and laughter throughout the day as part of our daily lives, if we really want to achieve optimum health.

Stephen Jepson of “Never Leave the Play Ground” may be onto something, with his revolutionary  system for keeping his body healthy and fit as he ages.  He promotes the idea that we can stay healthier longer keeping our minds more youthful by reintroducing activity in the form of physically challenging games into our daily lives.  His technique includes games that improve balance and coordination, and it is clear that they also include a good dose of laughter.    Looks like it is time for us baby boomers to start creating more play grounds for adult sized bodies!

With regards to laughter, you may now be able to find laughter clubs, laughter yoga, or laughter therapy in your own neighborhood or one nearby.  For example, searching for “laughter yoga Providence” on google returns links to the Providence Laughter Club and The Center of Joy.

The future is pointing towards models of proactive health that tap into the hidden resources within our bodies and spirits that we can access to promote renewed vitality and youthfulness.

So when can we have our next play date?