How to Use Humor to Heal the Brain and Body
Studies have shown that finding things funny reduces the production of stress hormones, decreases inflammation in the body, improves memory and cognitive capacity, allowing us to problem solve more creatively over time. Spread the word: #BeyondFunny
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What's so Funny About Stress?
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Humor can be divided into three types of experience: the physical expression of humor is laughter, the mental navigation that occurs when we recognize humor may be referred to as wit, and the emotional delight we feel is called mirth. When we allow ourselves to fully feel the internal giggle of something funny, there are hundreds of chemical changes that occur – shifting our state from surviving to thriving. All measures of cognitive performance improve, as our neurons are nudge towards expressing creativity, insight and innovation and turning down the noise of the stress response. Try it for yourself right now. Check out this baby laughing, and see if you notice a shift in your state of mind, and body.
By using humor strategically, actually planning time to experience things you find funny on a regular basis, you build a mental muscle that is more in tune to the humor of your day. Just like anything else you pay attention to, you experience more of what you focus your mind to see. So if you want to have more fun, play, and laughter in your life be proactive about putting things in your path that will shift you in that direction.
Techniques to Try:
The best way to create a new habit is to enlist the support of a friend, so ask someone to be your humor buddy and commit to share things you find funny as often as you can. Each time you receive your humor nudge you’ll be reminded to stop and reflect, and when you share you’ll not only find funny yourself you’ll know that you’re contributing to help recharge someone you care about. The more we commit to shift our stress for good, the more positive and calm our world will become. Little neural nudges can make a big difference when we’re all practicing together. And the more we can all see funny, the better we can collaborate to solve the stress of the world.
Several years ago I had these Melvin monkeys made to help me share the love with people who inspire me on my journey. Many people find it odd that I am a professional speaker who’s extremely shy, and a stress expert who has struggled with severe anxiety and depression from a young age (it’s true, we often teach what we most need to learn). This Melvin monkey not only enables me to strike up conversations with people I want to share gratitude with, squeezing him and seeing his heart expand reminds me of the importance of breathing, connecting with my heart, and leading with love. When I do this effectively, the energy that I once called stress become energy to fuel positive connection with others. Spread the Word: #BeyondFunny #AddHeart #StressMastery
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All money will be donated to The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (www.aath.org) to sponsor Comedy for Caregivers 2019 in Chicago click the sponsor button below:
Beyond Funny: Unleash the Power of Healthy Humor on the Brain, with Dr. Heidi Hanna
In this interactive exploration of humor and laughter, participants will understand why finding things funny changes brain chemistry, reduces stress, and optimizes communication, engagement, sales, marketing, and leadership capacities. Individuals will create a Beyond Funny Toolkit to apply to their daily routines and feel confident in using intentional humor interventions in the office and at home.