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Lighten Up! Laughter As A Healing Power

Life has become a very serious matter for most people in this day and age. Working long stressful hours, managing households, finances, etc. all combine in shaping the way we react to life. Places of religious worship have also conditioned us into believing that silence and seriousness are an integral part of our life, giving you messages that life is not fun.

When you are lonely, unhappy , feeling self-pity or like a victim, your thoughts take you deeper into despair and desperation. The more you feel these emotions and reinforce your negative thoughts, the more the universe provides experiences to support your consciousness. Nothing goes right. You expect everyone to bail you out of your situation. You are stuck.

Laughter is more important today then ever before. Norman Cousins, laughed himself to wellness and shared his experiences in his books. He had been crippled from a supposedly irreversible disease. The medical establishment is discovering and admitting to the public more and more that laughter helps to heal patients. Only recently, the movie, Patch Adams was another confirmation about the healing power of laughter. Numerous articles have been written in many national newspapers and magazines, indicating the importance of laughter in healing. Remember laugh lines look better than frown lines too!

As I am writing this, a wonderful experience comes to mind that took place when my dad was in his end stages. The gas had built up inside so much, he was writhing in pain. The medications that he took to alleviate the gas and pain were not working. He had been a tall, strong man. To see him laying in bed with this huge distended abdomen was sheer torture and I felt so helpless. He kept asking me to help him. I looked at him with hopelessness and sadness. Just at that moment, a thought came to mind as if a light bulb was lit and I found myself saying to him, perhaps I can sit on your abdomen and bounce up and down on it like I did when I was a little girl. It was a ridiculous thought, but within seconds, my dad started to laugh so hard, that I started laughing. We couldn't stop for several minutes. Tears rolled down his face. All all of a sudden we heard a loud noise and a release that made us laugh even more. He had relief. From then on, we learned to laugh a lot more!

The most important element people lack in is the ability to laugh at one's self.

Many have struggled to stay centered and balanced through meditation, yoga and the study of concentration, prayer and other modalities in order to experience more joy from within. This is all quite beneficial. However as a result, many of you have become even more serious through these practices. I am not discounting them one bit. However, the balance is also to bring about joy, laughter and healing in yourselves as well.

A big. hearty belly laugh releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Serontonin is released into the body building up your psycho-neuro-immunological system The vibrations from the laughter actually shake up and release the stress in all our organs that have been rigidly holding all of our pent up emotions. So, you see, laughter is essential for your biological health no matter what your current situation is.

Try it right now as you are reading this exercise.! Think of something so funny that you almost roll on the floor laughing. Perhaps, tears are rolling down your cheeks uncontrollably. If you can't reflect on something so funny in this very moment, try smiling to your organs with gratitude that they are their functioning as they need to. Or picture sun light or a strong white laser beam of light penetrating through with a healing warmth to these areas. No matter what your circumstances, you need to seriously bring more laughter into your life especially if you are having difficulty lightening up as you continue on with the exercise.

As a caregiver, generally you are consumed by guilt, doom, fear, hopelessness and perhaps even helplessness, but don't forget; so are the loved ones who you care for..

Take a deep breath. With each breath, breathe in loving, positive thoughts. On each exhale expel the negative thoughts and beliefs that come to your mind. As you breathe out visualize them dissipating as a vapor in mid air where the universe will transform them into perfect order and harmony. Keep breathing in and out for several minutes, until your body feels more relaxed and then see if you can bring up a good chuckle from deep within your belly.

Your writings for the week include writing about your experiences in your ability to laugh freely and effortlessly, where you feel stuck inside, how your body feels when you are able to muster up that huge belly laugh. Throughout the course of each day, make time to read, watch on television or imagine something hysterically funny that brings up pure, not forced laughter....and document your experiences.

Practice helping others to lighten up also through telling them a good joke, sharing about your own difficulty in getting that chuckle going and see if you both can support each other. Hopefully, a new way of being will begin to unfold for you...



©2/24/99 Gail R. Mitchell

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