Courageous & Outrageous - Laughter

By Pat Nichol

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Recently, I spoke to an audience at the Victorian on Feltham. My topic was taking care of yourself with humour. At one point, I referred to myself as a recycled child. I began carrying “knock-knock” jokes and sharing them to the chagrin of my husband and family. My daughters have learned not to say moo to me when I am driving as I totally lose it and that can be dangerous in traffic. Who have you shared laughter with recently?

Children laugh over 100 times a day, while many adults find it difficult to squeak out three or four small smiles. Laughter transcends age, physical limitations or health status, and giggling reduces stress hormones. Tittering tones the face and acts like a mini facelift. One minute of laughter is as effective in getting your heart rate up as 10 minutes on a rowing machine. If you can guffaw for 10 minutes, you’ll burn 50 calories.

Health benefits aside, laughter has social benefits. Elevate the mood of others and more people will want to be around you. Laugh alone and you heal yourself - laugh in a group and it explodes the healing.

Be the one in your group that is able to look at life in a humourous way and help others do the same. So in line with using humour and sharing, I want to share something else that children do - practice their ABCs:

Act Silly
Believe in Magic
Create Adventures
Daydream every chance you get
Enjoy life as much as possible
Find time for fun
Goof off
Hang upside down from trees
Join Clubs
Keep it simple
Love all creatures
Make time for friends
Nap often
Open your mind to new ideas
Play when you feel like it
Question the answers
Run with the wind
Sing favourite songs
Take days off
Uncover your talents
Venture out
Walk on the wild side
Yield to the moment
Zzzz peacefully at night

So far, the only one that I might have a problem with is the H - Hang upside down from trees. I can’t find a tree with a branch low enough for me to climb up on.

As we move through the final days of 2009, try to do as many of your ABCs as you can. I look forward to hearing about them.





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