I’ve been picking up a shift in people’s moods recently. Clients, readers, neighbors, and friends have been talking about ramped up stress and heaviness from the global coronavirus pandemic, a high stakes election season, and rapid fire distressing events in the news cycle.
I was feeling it too.
Typically a trooper, I was also getting into a slump. With the shift in mood, came apathy about my usual healthy habits like yoga, meditation, prayer, and laughter.
It’s funny how when we most need our healthy habits we feel the least like doing them.
Queue the funny cat videos.
I needed a dose of laughter and I wasn’t in the mood to work too hard for it. Queue the funny cat videos. I got my cozy cup of tea and set up the cat videos on a big tv. Within ten minutes I felt better.
“A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.” — Groucho Marx
Laughter decreases stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Laughter reduces blood pressure. It increases feel-good and health inducing endorphins. Laughter reduces pain, boosts the immune system, and lifts negative moods. These aren’t merely my own personal findings, there’s science to back up these claims.
Emotions need to flow.
Stagnation in nature leads to decay. As much as our blood, our emotions need to flow. It’s common to avoid feeling painful emotions. They don’t feel good, and humans are programmed to avoid pain. It’s that avoidance and suppression, however, that lead to stagnation.
My theory is that a good laugh helps to shake up and clean out the stagnation that’s built up from the stress in our lives. Take time to feel the painful emotions, but also have laughing sessions to give your system a good tune-up.
You need to take care of yourself, so you can be a force for good in this world.
When you feel down, you might not be in the mood to take a few minutes just to laugh. Or, maybe it feels irresponsible given all that’s going on in the world right now. Your mental and physical health depend on it though, and you can’t help the world if you’re stuck in a rut. Queue up some funny cat videos and get out there and have an epic day.
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