Monthly Archives: October 2015

What could go funny?

When planning a trip, anticipating the next friend/family gathering, rehearsiMovieclapperng for an oral presentation, or thinking about the next team meeting, you sometimes tend to focus on the “what could go wrong?” “What is going to happen if I bring up this topic, aunt Audrey does not show up, I put on this white blouse, the plane is overbooked, my manager does not talk about this project…?” Those queries are the normal part of the “event” preparation and should not be ignored; however I also recommend imagining: WHAT COULD GO FUNNY? There are a two angles this can be approached by and turn on your imagination.

The people

The easy situation: you know for sure, there is a go to person for a joke. Uncle John always has a good joke in his pocket or best friend Anna comes up with a funny story. Re-invent Anna’s last funny story or just make up another in line of what she could tell. Imagine what could be the latest joke from Uncle John. Maybe there will be nobody you know: a business-networking event, a conference for example. You are your own movie director on making your  own funny character: what would be his/personality, how he/she would like, what he/she would wear, what he/she would do to be funny? This can be a joking attitude, a contagious laugh, body language, a hairstyle, and a slip of the tongue. One time, I was invited to a tuxedo/evening gown party. I imagined, that everyone came dressed in with pajamas and slippers. Alternatively, you can imagine that a funny celebrity would be part of the event. Now there is always the option of imagining how you could be this joke person.

The venue/The occasion

Those two are quite connected. I would not recommend using that for saddening events like a funeral or layoffs. A funny event can easily spring from your mind if you are scheduled to visit a zoo, go on vacations, to a birthday party or simply plan to walk in the street. It does not have to be necessarily elaborate: quite often, the simpler the funnier. Once, my mind played a short video in which a friend of mine opened a bottle of Champagne and everything it sprayed of the bottle before it got a chance to be poured in flutes or a choir of flight attendants singing “La vie en rose” during a transatlantic flight to France. The perspective of a very formal business meeting can bring a laughing smile on your face, particularly when the technology is not very cooperative. Taking public transportation every day to commute, I imagined a reason why my streetcar would be late; our driver is taking a power nap and the next streetcar is expected to be here at the stop in 15 mn, we apologize for the inconvenience caused.

It lifts up your spirit, puts you in very you positive state of mind and even gives you a different perspective on an event. Tell me now, how do you about this approach and what are you funny scenarios?

Photo Credit : Ilya Sedykh on Flickr

Laughter with benefits: the physical ones

Laughing-Loud
A-maze-ing Laughter sculptures by Yue Minjun

When I asked myself to list the physical benefits of laughter I just came with: “It relaxes your body and makes you feel  good.”I decided to dig a little further and share with you other wonders of laughter. Despite researches conducted about the direct physical benefits of laughs are rather scarce, some of the benefits are identifiable right away by anyone.

  • Burns calories: according to Maciej Buchowshi, a researcher from Vanderbilt, who conducted a small study, 10-15 minutes of laughter burns 50 calories. If you laugh enough every day, you may not need to go to the gym as often as you do now.
  • Gives an abs workoutLife.Gaiam.com describes well this benefit “when you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach expand and contract, similar to when you intentionally exercise your abs.” If you hate doing crunches, laughter is an alternate option. What a nice after feeling after a belly laugh.
  • Relaxes your body: according to Helpguide.org “a good hearty laugh relieves physical pain and stress leaving your muscles relaxed for 45 min.” It feels the same when I have a good workout. The only difference; there are way more places available for a laugh than a workout.
  • Lowers the blood pressure: researchers from the University of Maryland noticed that the blood vessels of people who just watched a drama tended to tense up, restricting the blood.  On the contrary the blood vessels of people who just watched a comedy behaved normally, expanding and contracting easily. It can protect you against a heart attack and some other cardiovascular issues. It appears to me as a very cost efficient heart medicine.
  • Boosts your immune system: it decreases the stress hormones, increases the immune cells and infection antibodies. As a result your body’s resistance to disease improves. If you have an active illness prevention plan, add laughter to it
  • Triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel good hormone. The secretion of endorphins leads to an overall sense of well-being and contributes to decreases the feeling  of pain. At the same times it reduces the production of cortisol, the “stress hormone”. After a good laugh, you certainly feel serene. As we say in French, “ZENitude” is going all over your body.

Laughter has a lot of benefits and as a reminder this is absolutely free! As I was doing some research about this post I found this interesting video explaining “How does laughter work? “

Sources, HelpGuide, Wedmed.comLife.Gaiam.com

Photo credit: Karinli on Flickr