All posts by Delphine Delsahut

Pour sortir de votre tristesse, pensez au rire !

paixCela ne faisait pas parti de mon calendrier éditorial. Je me devais d’écrire un message à propos des récents événements tragiques qui se sont produits à Beyrouth et à Paris. C’est toujours attristant d’entendre les nouvelles d’une attaque terroriste violente où des civils innocents ont perdu leurs vies. De façon générale, on se sent encore plus affecté lorsque l’on a des liens spéciaux avec l’endroit ou les gens affectés. Une très bonne amie va à Beyrouth chaque jour pour enseigner dans des universités différentes et France est le pays dont je suis originaire. Heureusement que tous les gens que je connais vont bien. Je prie pour les victimes ainsi que les personnes directement affectées.

Alors que la vague de tristesse se propageait dans le monde entier, j’étais très tentée de regarder des vidéos sur ces attaques. Comme une addiction soudaine, je voulais en savoir plus sur les causes, les circonstances, les réactions dans le monde, les cérémonies commémoratives, les témoignages de témoins etc.… Ces informations venaient hanter mon esprit au point d’affecter mon sommeil et ma concentration depuis que j’ai pris connaissance de ces attaques. A quoi ça me servait d’encombrer mon esprit avec des nouvelles attristantes ? Ca en était déjà trop, mon corps et mon esprit étaient tendus.

Premièrement, j’ai décidé de faire de l’entraînement fractionné de haute intensité plus connu sous les initiales HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) provenant de l’anglais. Deuxièmement, j’ai écouté en ligne “Rires et Chansons”, une radio française qui diffuse des sketches d’humoristes francophones et des chansons populaires internationales. Ensuite je me suis mise à regarder un de mes humoristes français préféré nommé Laurent Ruquier ou anglais nommé John Oliver. J’ai souri, j’ai rigolé encore et encore. Cela n’a certainement pas changé ce qui s’est passé mais ça m’a aidé à sortir du cercle vicieux de tristesse. Je me sentais relaxée dans mon corps et en calme dans mon esprit. Alors je me sentais mieux afin de prier pour la paix et envoyer mes meilleurs sentiments aux personnes affectées par ces attaques abominables.

Lorsque quelque chose d’attristant vous affecte : POUR SORTIR DE VOTRE TRISTESSE, PENSEZ AU RIRE : évoquez un souvenir amusant, regardez votre show/film comique préféré, parlez à une personne qui va vous faire rire, écoutez votre humoriste préféré. Votre corps et votre esprit vous remercieront de cela.

Je voulais partager cette vidéo : John Oliver Paris Attacks

Photo de Olga Lednichenko on Flickr

Combien de temps pour une sieste ?

Dans notre société nord américaine accro au travail, faire la sieste est souvent vu d’un mauvais œil. Cependant de nombreuses recherches et articles publiées font l’éloge de ses bienfaits : calme les nerfs, diminue la pression sanguine, améliore les fonctions cérébrales de mémoire et d’apprentissage, augmente la vivacité d’esprit, favorise la créativité… Un autre aspect important de la sieste est temps qu’on y accorde. Je parlais de cela avec un ami qui venait juste de se réveiller de sa sieste post méridienne et m’a dit :

« Je viens de faire une sieste rapide pendant plusieurs heures. »

chat-sieste

 

Les bienfaits physiques du rire

homme-rire
Sculptures du Rire A-maze-ing de Yue Minjun

Lorsque je me suis demandée de lister bienfaits du rire, deux réponses seulement me sont venues à l’esprit: ça enlève les tensions du corps et ça aide à se sentir bien.  J’ai décidé de chercher un peu plus loin et partager avec vous les merveilles du rire. Bien que les recherches sur les bienfaits physiques du rire soient rares, une personne qui rit, va en ressentir immédiatement les effets :

Brûle les calories : d’après Maciej Buchowshi, un chercheur de Vanderbilt, qui a mené une petite étude, rire 10-15 minutes permet de brûler 50 calories. Si vous riez assez chaque jour, peut-être que vous n’aurez pas besoin d’aller à la salle de sport aussi souvent que vous y aller maintenant.

Fait travailler les abdos : Life.Gaiam.com décrit clairement ce bienfait : “Quand vous riez, les muscle dans votre estomac s’élargissent et se contractent comme lorsque vous faîtes vos abdos.” Si vous détestez faire des abdos, le rire s’avère être une alternative. Qu’est qu’on se sent bien après avoir ri aux éclats.

Détend le corps : d’après Helpguide.org « un rire aux éclats soulage la douleur  ainsi que les stress physique tout en laissant les muscles décontractés for 45 mn. ». Une bonne séance d’exercice physique donne pratiquement la même sensation. La seule différence est qu’il est plus facile de trouver un endroit pour rire que pour une séance d’exercice physique.

Diminue la pression artérielle : les chercheurs de l’université du Maryland ont observé que les vaisseaux sanguins de personnes qui venaient juste de regarder un film dramatique avaient tendance à se raidir restreignant la circulation sanguine. Au contraire les vaisseaux sanguins de personnes qui venaient juste de regarder un film comique se comportaient de façon normale. Il s’élargissent et se contractent facilement. Cela peut vous mettre à l’abri d’une attaque cardiaque ou d’autres problènes cardio-vasculaires. Cela me semble être un médicament peut coûteux compte-tenu des bienfaits qu’il apporte.

Stimule votre système immunitaire : le rire permet de diminuer les hormones de stress et d’augmenter les cellules immunitaires ainsi que les anticorps de l’infection. Par conséquent, le corps résiste mieux aux maladies. Si vous suivez un programme de prévention de maladie, ajoutez-y du rire.

Déclenche la libération des endorphines: l’hormone du bonheur. La sécrétion d’endorphines donne une sensation généralisée de bien-être et permet de diminuer la sensation de douleur. Par la même occasion, il réduit la production de cortisol plus connue sous le nom de l’hormone du stress. Après un bon rire, vous vous sentirez sereins. Comme on dit, un sentiment de zénitude se fera sentir dans tout votre corps.

Le rire a beaucoup de bienfaits et rappelez-vous que entièrement gratuit! Le mois prochain, nous découvrirons les bienfaits émotionnels du rire

Sources, HelpGuide, Wedmed.comLife.Gaiam.com

Photo de Karinli trouvée sur Flickr

Laughter with benefits: the consciousness perspective

BrainAbstract
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?

Photoblog01

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

LaughterMusicSoul

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