Monday, July 4, 2011

Feel better, now! No, really!


Happy summer!  Here are a few amusing but useful ideas for feeling better than you normally might, in any given situation:

Smiling.  Do it.  All the time.  Fake smiling actually triggers endorphins to be released throughout your body, which really, truly make you feel MUCH better, with no outward changes required.  Just smile.  The rest of you will soon catch up.    

Laughing.  I laugh at everything and everyone, including myself, as much as possible.  This is primarily nice laughing, not snide laughing, hopefully.  I once was nearly fired from a job in a doctor’s office for laughing too loudly.  The doctor felt that I was not serious enough and might be upsetting his patients.  It was a gastroenterology practice, and frankly, I’m quite confident that all of those people in the waiting room with diarrhea, constipation, liver disease, polyps, fistulas, and Lord knows what else could have definitely benefitted from a good laugh or at least a smile.  
Cursing.  There are those who would argue bitterly against this.  Thanks to my husband, I have become a big proponent of Selective Swearing in Order to Lighten a Situation.  Of course, I prefer swearing in exuberance over swearing in anger or annoyance (in a perfect world).  Creative swearing such as “Holy Mother of God in a sidecar, how did that happen?” can immediately change a stupid or embarrassing or upsetting or irritating event into something to laugh at.  Try it.
Talk in Funny Accents.  I cannot stress this enough.  I feel fortunate that my husband, my son and I have developed a really dopey accent that we speak to each other in.  It is it’s own accent, not particularly identifiable, but it is contagious and we find that our friends and colleagues slip into it also now and then, which is very rewarding.  It is especially important to speak in a silly accent when an argument is brewing, when you’ve done something really terrible and have to inform someone about it, when you need help doing an unpleasant job, when you want something important that you are afraid to ask for ... you get the idea.
Skip, Gallop, Jump or Flap Your Hands Vigorously.  This is self-explanatory.  I would like to thank my grown son for bringing this to my attention.  Sadly, this is a Happy Outlet that most adults have forgotten.  Try galloping down the hallway.  Now.  (No, I mean really do it.) Now don’t you feel better?  And the next time you feel really crazy and hectic and stressed out, try pretending you are six years old and just flap your hands like mad in the air, like a crazy chicken.  You will immediately feel a giant release of yucky energy, and you will also feel like.... you are six.  This is a good thing.  Watch children, they’ve got the Happy Outlet concept down pat.
Singing Aimlessly/Humming Tunelessly.  Singing of any kind is uplifting, period.  My son recommends tuneless humming and I must agree; it makes you feel child-like and silly and nice.  Goes well with skipping and galloping. 
Improve Your Posture.  Good posture is not just something invented by our parents to make us feel bad about ourselves.  When you put your shoulders back, the world will change.  This happens for two reasons:  (1) You actually feel better.  When you scrunch and hunch over, you are messing with your energy flow.  This is physics.  (2) The world sees you differently and responds accordingly.  A person with excellent posture, shoulders back, says to the world, I am healthy, confident and happy!  Yippee!  And as we all know, like attracts like.  Try this for one whole day, and see if you don’t feel that the world is responding to you just a little more positively.  IT’S PHYSICS.
Do Anything That Makes You Forget What Time it is.  This is the ultimate Happy Outlet.  This is when you are in your Element, following your calling, whatever you may call it.  This may occur while doing anything creative or artistically oriented, while exercising, parenting, gardening, fixing your car, vacuuming, anything.  It is important that you take note of the various things that you do during which time you completely forget to look at the clock, and when you do, you can’t believe how much time has passed!  Identify these things, and make every effort to incorporate them into your daily life as much as possible.  The Universe is calling you.  Answer the phone today, you know what I mean?
With a little persistence and training, we can feel better more of the time.  And everyone benefits from that, right?  Now, stand up straight and put a smile on it.  That’s an order. 
Love, MJ