Hello and joyful summer to you! I hope you are off to a good start.

While it may be hot outside, let’s stay mentally cool with laughter.

Yes, sometimes I even tend to get hot-headed. Upset about this or that. It’s good to have opinions and it’s important to speak out. Self expression is important. Let us not be stifled into silence. Holding in our emotions is not healthy.

I believe that there is a way to achieve our goals by a more measured approach.

Why throw fuel on the fire, when we can figure out more creative ways to manage our stress levels? So what do I do when things get rough and tough? For those of you who know me, I bet you know the answer. You are correct if you guessed that I laugh. Is it easy to laugh?

Honestly? Sometimes it is. But there are some occasions when I really didn’t feel like laughing. Instead, I may have done or said something that (in hindsight) I am not so proud of now. Yes, I have some embarrassing moments. Like the time I screamed at a woman who was blocking the exit at a drive through bank. Obviously she was so exasperated with her situation, she felt the need to go inside and didn’t think about who was behind her. I leaned on my horn. Can you imagine? Anyway, that was not my best moment and I wish I could have handled that situation with more patience and grace. Now at least, I can laugh at myself for being such a terrible hothead and it was a good lesson for me. I am not perfect, ha ha ha, I can do better!

I truly believe that laughter is the perfect way to engage positively with others. Laughter is also a great way to let off steam, to deescalate a potentially volatile situation.

The physiological benefits of this Laughter Yoga practice are undeniable. Laughter helps us to manage our blood pressure and stress levels. The Laughter Prescription. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125057/

When my mind feels overwhelmed, it’s time for an anti-stress joyful hormone infusion in my brain. To activate it, I remind myself to laugh for an extended period of time. 30 seconds, a minute, 15 seconds, intermittently or for minutes as I need an energy pick-me-up and I am driving along on a long drive. Continued laughter (even if simulated laughter) with deep breathing is enough to activate the happy hormones in our brain. Give me that cocktail of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins! Cheers! Laughter Triggers Endogenous Opioid Release in Humans https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28536272/

We are constantly being challenged with everyday situations and interactions with others. It’s easy to be judgmental or feel personally attacked when we aren’t feeling our best or feel upset about something.

Here are some examples of how I try to manage my stressors and remain cool in certain situations:

Running late laughter (usually I am in my car and running behind schedule or stuck in traffic , at a red light, waiting in a long line) . I tap on my watch and laugh.

Road rage laughter. Someone else is driving erratically or mindlessly (runs a red light, cuts me off, drives too fast, is riding my bumper etc.) and I remind myself to 1)take a deep breath in and to 2)let them pass 3) laugh it off. ( BE SAFE!!! Careful not to let them think I am laughing AT them.) I just allow the stress to run off of me like water off a duck’s back. 1)Deep breath in and out. 2) Take another deep breath in and 3) Laugh along to the music on your radio, creating ha ha ho ho sounds.

Juggling for Joy. Do you sometimes feel like you’re being pulled in many directions? Are you juggling too many balls? You may be trying to manage family, work and community engagement. Hey, where’s the ball with time for yourself? 1) Begin juggling with 3 balls (laughing with joy, then add another and another (overwhelmed laughter) 2) Continue juggling your many balls and then as you allow them to drop around you, letting them go (relief laughter). 3) Stop/deep breath in and mindfully select what you choose to juggle . What does each ball represent for you? Juggle them with grace and joy. Imagine finding the perfect balance in your life and feeling more free.

Got chores? Cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, always something to do! Do you ever feel like you are doing most of the work? It’s easy to feel resentful when feeling overwhelmed. It’s easy not to want to cook when you are feeling tired or too busy. 1) STOP 2)Look and connect to what it is you are doing. 3) Take a deep breath in. 4) Laugh out with gratitude for whatever it is you have in front of you. Flip resentment to gratitude for feeling safe in your home and having this chore to attend to. Gratitude for the things you are able to do for yourself. Gratitude for this moment. Sprinkle the laughter into everything you are doing and you will feel a softening within you. You will feel a bit brighter and more energetic. You will feel more hopeful.

If you are new to Laughter Yoga, this might feel a bit strange to begin with. The more you practice daily, mindful, unconditional laughter, you will begin to notice a subtle shift within yourself and the way you approach your daily tasks and interactions with others. You will discover new things about yourself and begin to love yourself in a way you may have overlooked in the past.

It’s all about being more joyful through this laughter practice. Practice. Allow yourself to experiment with it. Liberate yourself with laughter . Have fun with it. Let me know how it goes.

And if you get stuck, you know where to find me.