We went boating Sunday on a near by lake. There has been more than normal rainfall this year and releases at the dam upstream are also high resulting in the water level being very high in the lake. When we arrived, we saw a sign is posted for a “no wake zone”. So, no boating over 5 miles per hour and no tubing. Yet we still had a lot of fun on the lily pad, just floating and relaxing with family and friends.
Sometimes I think we need a “no wake zone” in our lives. Our lives become too full and our levels (stress, obligations, to-do lists) too high. We can declare a “no wake zone” for ourselves to take a break and relax. So how do we do this? We don’t have to make major changes, even small things can make a big difference.
Heidi Hanna, Director of Education at the American Institute of Stress, suggests ways to incorporate humor to improve our lives and provide a brief opportunity to shift our focus. “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 nudge towards expressing creativity, insight and innovation and turning down the noise of the stress response.”
Techniques to Try:
- Share a funny image with a friend every day via text message.
- Add a funny cartoon to your email signature.
- Create a funny playlist with videos you enjoy to watch during your morning and afternoon recharge break.
- Go on a walk and look for things to find funny.
- Find a funny podcast or YouTube channel to listen to each evening to reset your brain to relax