L is for Laughter

Yes, I've actually done presentations in these shoes

Yes, I’ve actually done presentations in these shoes

Did you hear the one about?…

The focus on the benefits of laughter began in earnest with Norman Cousins’ memoir, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. Norman who’d been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a painful spine condition, discovered that a regimen of comedy films like Marx Brothers and episodes of Candid Camera made him feel better. He said that 10 minutes of laughter allowed him 2 hours of pain-free sleep.

Scientists attribute the benefits of laughter primarily to its ability to combat the physical and emotional characteristics of chronic stress, which have been shown to suppress the body’s immunity.

The Health Benefits of Laughter
Laughter reduces stress by increasing the body’s secretion of growth hormone, which, in turn, has a positive effect on immunity. Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response.

Laughter decreases the release of adrenaline and cortisol, two of the worst culprits in weakening the immune system. Studies suggest that similar to exercise, laughter releases endorphins that the body uses to fight pain and depression.

Len, Peter and Laurie Laughing

Len, Peter and Laurie Laughing

Research done at the University of Maryland Medical Center shows that “Laughter is similar to exercise in that it decreases blood pressure, increases muscle flexion, improves the overall performance of the heart’s muscular functions, and possibly wards off heart disease.”

Roberta Gold, recreation and humor therapist based in California said, “The physiological processes the body undergoes during laughter are relaxing. Your circulatory system works better, you oxygenate your blood better, and you feel better afterward, physiologically and emotionally. The benefits of comedy aren’t just physical. While laughter improves the body’s physiological processes, a sense of humor is paramount to mental health. Laughter stimulates positive emotions and encourages a more positive outlook.”

Research at the University of North Carolina determined that a positive mental state—such as one brought on by humor—increases open-mindedness, creativity, and the capacity to adapt to change.

Experts also speculate that a sense of humor goes hand-in-hand with higher levels of “emotional intelligence” which determines a person’s ability to handle their feelings and understand the emotional states of others.

Karen and Peter Cracking Up!

Karen and Peter Cracking Up!

Humor has also been linked to improved test scores. In a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, researchers divided students in a graduate biostatistics class into 2 groups. They administered identical exams to each group, except that one set of tests had humorous instructions. Students who received the amusing exam scored significantly higher than those with the ordinary directions.

Laughter decreases blood pressure, normalizes heart rate, and increases appetite. To top it off, it’s a great workout that helps the lungs breathe better and keeps muscles in the diaphragm, abdomen, respiratory tract, face, legs, and back healthy.

According to a study released by the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2000 meeting, laughter and an active sense of humor may also help to prevent heart and artery disease.

The University of Maryland Medical Center studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After viewing, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedies behaved normally, expanding and contracting easily. However, the blood vessels in people who watched the dramas tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.

One study of people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended an intentionally tedious lecture. The next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture.

Laurie & Len know how to have a fun time!

Laurie & Len know how to have a fun time!

How does it work?
Scientists speculate that humor stimulates the brain’s reward center in the same ways as SEX and CHOCOLATE. In turn, this reward center secretes 2 hormones into the brain: dopamine and serotonin. Also known as happiness molecules, these are anti-stress chemicals associated with the feeling of happiness. As we grow older, the production of these chemicals in the body decreases, so laughing becomes all the more important with increasing age.

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I can share this fact with certainty: of the 206 bones in the human body, the most important one is the funny bone. Laughter is indeed the best medicine!

When was the last time you enjoyed side-splitting laughter?

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Have you ever been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, but you did?

Where there's a will, there's a way, by Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever been told:
– You couldn’t lose the weight
– You couldn’t run the marathon
– You couldn’t quit smoking
– You wouldn’t amount to anything
– You couldn’t have a baby
– Your head is a receptacle for silly ideas
– You couldn’t get a business loan because you wouldn’t make a go of it
– You couldn’t write a book, and if you did, you couldn’t get it published
– You wouldn’t make a good parent
– You wouldn’t live more than 5-months because you have cancer taking over your body, and you responded (like my friend, Ted) with a beautiful, robust, health-filled life!

What have you been told you couldn’t, or wouldn’t – but you did anyway?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

It’s What’s on the Inside that Really Counts!

Capilene Long Johns

The mornings of riding our bicycles in short pants and sleeves are done and gone. We’ve consistently been greeted each dawn by 43-45 degree weather. Add in the speed of a bicycle, and we’ve got some additional wind chill to contend with.

And while outerwear is certainly important, it doesn’t compare to the importance of what’s inside the final layer:

Moisture wicking briefs and sport bra
Capilene long underwear – top and bottom
Under helmet skull cap with ear flaps

Yep, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts! This isn’t just true for outdoor sports; it’s true for life as well. You’ll recall that Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies with in us.”

What inside your outer layer?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com

Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights ReservedNo part of this blog post may be used in part, or in whole, without written permission from Laurie Buchanan.

Affirmations for Health

Life by Laurie Buchanan

Life by Laurie Buchanan

In their e-Book,  Affirmations – Words of Power, authors Remez and Dorina Sasson tell us that, “Affirmations provide a bridge between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, which is the control room of the mind and body. The subconscious mind is responsible for all of the involuntary functions of the body such as the heartbeat, bloodstream, respiration, the immune system, metabolism, and self-healing. Affirmations pass from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind, which takes the affirmations as commands to heal the body.”

Based on my experience as a Clinical Hypnotherapist working with the “mechanics” of the subconscious mind, here are some suggestions for the optimum use of affirmations. If you additionally integrate visualizations (strong mental picture) of yourself as healthy, vital, and energetic … all the better!

Use Positive Statements
Use expressions such as “I am healthy.” or “My [     ] is healthy and functions perfectly.” Avoid stating what you wish to overcome in your affirmation. Rather, express your desired outcome—the ideal state: “I enjoy full health.”

Use Present Tense
For example: “I am healthy,” “I am healed,” “I feel great,” and “I am full of energy.”

My Personal Daily Affirmations Include
The energy of Divine Love fills my heart, directs my thoughts, and organizes my affairs.
The healing energy of Divine Love flows throughout my body, mind, and spirit.
My body is vital, healthy, and strong.
I lovingly forgive and release everything in the past.
I choose to fill my world with joy.

Do you use affirmations for health? Click To Tweet

A Favorite Client Example
I’m open to the possibility that a miracle will occur for me by morning  . . .  it’s not that I’m searching for the miracle; rather it is searching for me.

I typically end my affirmations with: “Thank you, and so it is.”

Do you use affirmations? If yes, please share a few of your favorites.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Sweep Away Bad Energy

Sweep Away Bad Energy by Laurie Buchanan

Sweep Away Bad Energy by Laurie Buchanan

Feng Shui is the art of harmonious living. It involves the intentional placement of items to direct the circulation and flow of energy in a space. The desired outcome is unique by individual. Some people want to create balance and harmony, while others desire to boost their productivity, attract wealth, heighten creativity, advance their career, enhance good luck, and so on.

According to Feng Shui principles, the broom symbolizes insight and wisdom and is believed to have the power to sweep away negative energy, worry, and trouble. This ancient Chinese art counsels that the broom be hung by the door, symbolically sweeping out energy that no longer serves us well, making room for positive energy, abundance, and prosperity.

At our home, we use our brooms daily; they aren’t just for looks. They also serve as a visible reminder of our intent to maintain a positive, respectful, and healthy emotional environment in our sacred space.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Yes Talk

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

You’ve heard the famous quote by Epictetus, Roman (Greek-born) slave and philosopher: “We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less.” To me that means that when we speak, it should add value.

What we voice has the capability of transforming negative emotions and evoking particular emotional responses. For that reason, I suggest to my clients to only voice what they want, and to refrain from stating what they don’t want. In other words, instead of making statements like “Don’t slam the door,” “Don’t forget your lunch,” and “Don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” “Remember your lunch.” “Speak to me with respect.”

Positive statements help develop neural pathways in the brain for optimistic thinking. When we voice what we want—the constructive end result of what we’re asking for—we provide those in our sphere of influence with tools for success. A subtle shift in our communication can result in improved behavior. It also makes us feel better about our interaction with the people around us.

I took the photograph in today’s post during a recent stay at the UW-Madison campus. It caught my attention because it appears to serve no purpose—a decorative hole in the foundation of a pedestrian bridge. I keep it in my line of vision to serve as a subtle reminder: make sure your ears and mouth aren’t just decorative.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward by Laurie Buchanan

Best Foot Forward by Laurie Buchanan

It is my personal belief that each of us has an undeniable responsibility to our self and the rest of the world to be our personal best – to put our best foot forward – on any given day. The ripple effect is far too-reaching to do otherwise. I have a client who has determined her purpose to “Be Extraordinary.” She says, “Being extraordinary is not being a ‘bigger’ person. It’s a soul-based life that keeps Spirit in the driver’s seat. It’s waking up in the morning and saying, ‘Thy will be done through me.’”

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

Inner Gardening by Laurie Buchanan

Inner Gardening by Laurie Buchanan

My friend Sandi is a Master Gardener. Not strange then, that last week we were talking about gardening. But not your typical gardening. We were talking about woe-is-me gardening; the type that some people cultivate in their inner landscape that yields a bumper crop of weeds including self-pity, short-sightedness, fear, lack, low self-esteem and complacency.

That same week I shared with Terrill of Creative Potager, a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright, the father of organic architecture. He said,

The reality of a building is the space within. And what you put into that space will affect how you live in it and what you become. Don’t clutter the place with stuff that does not ennoble it.” 

His point is that it’s the details that express the whole. I believe this is equally true of our inner landscape; our inner garden. If we want to live a life that’s positive, uplifting, constructive and healing, it’s here that we need to cultivate a bumper crop of emotions, feelings and values such as peace of mind, compassion, joy, courage, gratitude and humor.

 

So tell me, how does your garden grow?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved 

Out the Yin-Yang

Arch Rock by Laurie Buchanan

Arch Rock by Laurie Buchanan

The phrase “Out the yin-yang” generally has a negative connotation. I’m here to change that; to shift the perspective. Many people use the phrase due to the shape of the ancient Chinese symbol. The outer circle represents “everything.” The identical black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of “Yin” and “Yang” energy. Each of us has both types:

Yin energy is represented by black.
Its nature is feminine, receptive, calming, cooling, negative and feeling.

Yang energy is represented by white.
Its nature is masculine, projecting, stimulating, heating, positive and thinking.

The idea is that these two energies are what cause everything to happen—ideally in balance. When fit together, the overall shape gives a sense of continual movement.

Out the is used to convey an extreme amount, abundance, or all over the place.

Any time we experience balance, that’s a good thing. Anytime we experience an abundance of balance, that’s a really good thing; it’s out the yin-yang!

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved

Funny Bones

Lauries Happy Feet by Len Buchanan

Lauries Happy Feet by Len Buchanan

My favorite thing on the planet is trees. Next is laughter. I love to laugh! It’s a great antidote to stress. As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I can share this fact with certainty: of the 206 bones in the human body, the most important one is the funny bone.

We’ve all heard the saying that “Laughter is the best medicine.” It really is. Just like a spoonful of sugar, laughter is easy to take. Possessing the same positive impact as inspiration, love, generosity, tolerance and respect, laughter is one of the many characteristics of Divine Love—Spirit. Simply put, laughter is good for the soul.

By the way, if you take the time to listen, you can hear the trees laugh too …

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

http://www.holessence.com/
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved.