You have seen how smiling and laughing can help relief you from feelings of stress and depression. We are not so naive as to think that superficially simulated laughter or smiles can change our situation or provide us with the solution to the issues we are facing.
What smiling and laughing can do is to open up an avenue for us to step back from the intensely negative feelings (stress, anger, frustration, maybe even bitterness) that controls us so we are relaxed enough to reassess the situation and be in a more conducive state physiologically, mentally and emotionally to reframe our perspectives. "Facial feedback" works.
There was a time in my life when I was exhausted crying, wasted, de-motivated and could not find a reason to be happy. It was one huge disillusion after another, one big disappointment after another – after a decade of dedication and commitment. I did not feel that I had enough strength to pick myself up again to carry on. I was totally de-motivated, I do not want to do anything nor see anyone. Nothing could force a smile out of my miserable state. It would be insulting to ask me to laugh.
Way back then, I did not know about coaching. It took me a long long time to get out of my stagnant stage.
What helped? I took 2 months off work, took the plane and flew to the States. This was one month after 911, people were fearful of flying and I headed straight for US! I stayed with my sister and her family and spent time with my then tiny little baby niece. She was absolutely adorable.
Just looking at the baby, being with her and taking her out for walks made me happy. Things seemed lighter and smiles started appearing on my face – voluntarily. What is it about babies? Her joy, hope, smiles and giggles melted my numb heart, they are contagious. That was love, hope and laughter therapy in action.
Like I say the situation has not changed, but my perspective of them have. Since then I have applied humor theory to other disillusionments I face.
When I allow the “issues” to be big and paramount, they took up so much space in my life that I had not noticed other things that were going on. All I could see was the darkness and hopelessness that I focused on. What you focus on expands, remember?
But when I detached myself and made light the situation, I saw how silly I was.
It is when I could laugh at myself that the issue lost its grip on me. It no longer controlled me. I could stand above the situation and know that although I have paid very expensive tuition fees I can learn and benefit from life’s lesson.
And I want to you to know that one or two unfortunate incidences along the journey of learning no matter how big need not control the rest of your life.
You are not defined by what happened to you.
There is still so much work waiting for you to do!
So whatever stress, anxiety or depression you are going through, find a way to smile and laugh. Lighten up the situation; blow it out of proportion so you see that it really is just one part of your life, not the whole entity. Then take a good laugh at yourself.
When you can laugh at yourself you have discounted the effect of the unpleasant situation. It was after all only one mistake that you were silly enough to fall into but clever enough to jump out of!
So smile and laugh, it is contagious. It will help you and those around you. Have you gone over the 47 laughing exercises yet? Which is your favorite? There is great resources in the free report, do make use of the tips. "Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it" says Bill Crosby.
However, if you do not feel like you can laugh or smile, no worries. And if you rather talk about it, just contact me. Sometimes a little help from a professional coach goes a long way.
I like to have your comments and if you like the article pass it on, share it with those who are still feeling challenged and help make an impact today!