Is it true that laughter really is the best medicine?
Laughter actually assists your body with the release of endorphins which reduce stress and increase the general feeling of happiness. Stress has one of the most detrimental effects on your body. It can cause inflammation and prevent your body from doing the vital repair work that it needs to perform daily in order to stay healthy. A daily dose of laughter is one of the best ways that you can reset your body against the impact of stress.
But we all know that laughing daily is easier said than done – especially in today’s world of bad news and uncertainty. What I have realized through this time of COVID-19 is that being kind to myself is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself. Rome wasn’t built in one day so relax, take a deep breath and have faith that we will get through this season together. I cannot control every situation and so I have had to learn to live life with open hands – not hanging on tightly but being flexible, open to other’s opinions and learning a new level of agility in these changing times. If you have lost faith or your spiritual connection has weakened, now is the time to reassess that part of your life. If it weren’t for my faith, I don’t know how I would be dealing with our current season. If you are feeling hopeless or overwhelmed by where you find yourself here are some tips for gaining control of your emotions and changing your unhealthy patterns:
- Spend half an hour each day for the next 5 days thinking about the things that you are thankful for in your life – at the end of 5 days compile a list of these things. Use this time as ‘ME’ time – find a quiet spot where you can’t be interrupted.
- Once you have your thankful list spend some time over the next 5 days reflecting on what you’d like to improve in your life – more me time, more family time, improving your work life, starting a new venture. Jot down a list of 5 improvements you would like to make.
- Now you need to spend time reflecting on what needs to change in your life in order to make these improvements happen – spend a further 5 days reflecting on this. Are you spending time with the right people? Are your thoughts hindering you? Do you lack motivation? At the end of the 5 days you should have compiled a list of promises to yourself in terms of what needs to change in your life and how you are going to achieve this – I need to get fitter by walking for half an hour every day. I need to learn a new skill in order to get the job that I want.
- End off by writing a statement summarizing the you that you see yourself as in the future. Be brave and be bold! Now read this statement to yourself daily until you gain the confidence to be this person daily!
Remember that changing habits takes time. In the month of July, we will be looking at our mental health and how we can fine tune it to ensure our minds are supporting us on our journey to wholeness and health.