Monthly Archives: November 2015

Laughter with benefits: the consciousness perspective

Abstract representation on the brain

The main physical benefits of laughter have been presented in a previous post. If that was not enough laughter comes with even more benefits.

Changes your perspectives: laughter allows you to see things in a different light by giving you a more lighthearted perspective. It does not change the circumstances, but it changes how you perceive them. It diverts negative feelings such as stress, anxiety, fear or boredom by triggering positive emotions such as happiness, well being or good mood. When life brings you challenge you are emotionally more flexible and resilient to overcome them. When I started to work as a bilingual client service representative, I had from time to time, in the early stages of a conversation, clients who told me with a rough tone of voice:” I don’t like your accent, I want to speak to someone else.” On the first few occurrences, I felt quite upset and out of sorts. I decided to shift my perception in this situation. I committed myself to laugh Instead. When the same situation occurred again, I put the person on hold to find the next interlocutor. During this time, I sent an instant message to my whole team including my team lead and manager: “I need to transfer a client to an Anglophone representative, with absolutely no French accent. In return I will, to whoever takes this call, help you by speaking French with no English accent.” I had fun writing this instant message, and along with making my colleagues laugh, I had more helpers than I needed to take those calls.

Improves your cognition: after a joyous laughter session, your creativity increases, your problem-solving ability improves and so does your memory. According to a study presented in April 2014 in San Diego, California, a joyous laughter produces  frequency waves in the brain similar to the ones experienced by people who meditate. This process is well explained: “When there is mirthful laughter, it’s as if the brain gets a workout because the gamma wave band is in synch with multiple other areas that are in the same 30-40 hertz frequency. This allows for the subjective feeling states of being able to think more clearly and have more integrative thoughts. This is of great value to individuals who need or want to revisit, reorganize, or rearrange various aspects of their lives or experiences, to make them feel whole or more focused.” I have tried meditation a couple of times, but was never able to make it a regular practice. With my joyful nature, I found laughter way easier to “practice”. How about you?

Any other benefits of laughter you know?

The photo that belongs to the public domain was found on Pixabay.

The ideal length of a nap

Napping is often frowned upon in our workaholic north America culture. However, countless researches and articles published emphasize its benefits: calms nerves, lowers blood pressure, improves learning and working memory, increases alertness, enhances creativity… Another important aspect of napping is its ideal length. I discussed that with a friend who had just woken up from his afternoon rest and said:

“I had a quick nap for a couple of hours.”

My ideal nap length is 30 mn. If you take naps, what is your the ideal nap length?


Take a break from sadness

This was not part of my editorial calendar plan. I felt compelled to write a post related to the recent tragic events that happened in Beirut and Paris. It is always saddening to hear news about a terror attack where innocent civilians lost their lives. Generally, it Peaceaffects even you more when you have some special ties with the location or the people affected: a dear friend of mine who I consider like a sister drives every day to Beirut to teach in different universities and France is my native country. Fortunately, all people I know are fine. My thoughts and prayers goes to people directly affected.

As the sadness tsunami propagated all over the world, I was tempted to watch news videos after videos related to those attacks. Like a sudden addiction, I wanted to know more about the root causes, the circumstances, the reactions all around the world, the memorial ceremonies, testimonies of witnesses and so on. News was haunting my mind to the point of affecting my sleep and concentration since I came in the know about those attacks. What is the point of constantly fuelling my mind with saddening news? It was already too much, both my mind and my body were tense.

First, I decided to engage into a 20 mn HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Secondly, I listened online “Rires et Chansons” a French radio broadcasting skits francophone humorist and international popular songs. Plus, I watched some videos of one of my favorite French humorist named Laurent Ruquier or English one named John Oliver. I smiled, I laugh and I giggled. It certainly did not change the events but it helped me exit the sadness circle; I felt relaxed in my body and at peace in my mind. Then I was in a better state to pray for peace and send love to people affected by heinous attacks.

When something saddening affects you, along with activities you like doing, TAKE A LAUGHTER BREAK: recall a funny memory, watch your favorite comedy movie/show, talk to your laughter go to person, listen to your preferred humorist. Your body and mind will thank you for that.

I wanted to share the following video: John Oliver Paris Attacks

Photo creditOlga Lednichenko on Flickr

One quote, different languages

Based on my research, the author of this quote is unknown. It comes from an old English prayer. I will discuss  the reasons I like this quote in one of my subsequent posts. To reflect the cultural diversity of Toronto, the challenge for this month is to have it translated in as many languages as possible first. Secondly, I will record myself saying it into those languages and publish a podcast on this blog.                               

I have French and English  covered already. Despite  it is a bit broken at best, I think I can also handle it in Spanish. For the other languages, I will rely on my personal international network not only for written translation but also for pronunciation. In advance I ask for your indulgence when you  hear me say it in languages that I am not familiar with.

  • English: Laughter is the music of the soul.
  • French: Le rire est la musique de l’âme.
  • Spanish: La risa es la música del alma.
  • Portuguese: O riso é a música da alma.
  • Bengali: হাসি প্রাণের সঙ্গীত
  • Hindi: हँसी आत्मा का संगीत है

Photo Credit: leodelrosa on Flickr