Are you experiencing a difficult situation? or Feeling the mid-winter blues?
Scroll this way and discover 2 ways to improve your mood right now…
A good old belly laugh instantly helps to chase away the winter gloomies. Not only does it feel good, but laughter benefits our health and wellbeing.
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of wellbeing and can even temporarily relieve deep emotional and physical pain.
Laughter and doing things that make us smile actually enhance our general well-being and promote health and resiliency during crisis times.helpguide.org
Smile Laugh when your heart is breaking
Perhaps you are thinking, “I cannot even raise a smile, never mind laugh at the moment.”
Maybe you feel laughing at a time when life is difficult is totally inappropriate, but laughter may be exactly what you need during such times.
Note: Please understand me. I am not saying “laugh at your difficulty“, I am saying “laugh in the midst of your difficulty“. These are two completely different things.
It was one of the worst days in my life….
…. I was 17 years old when we buried my dad. The funeral passed in a daze. Afterwards, my best friend thought it would be a good idea to go for a walk to help me clear my head and get some fresh air.
Whilst out walking, we stopped to speak to a neighbour. Ben, (my pet dog who we’d decided to take along with us) decided “now” was a good time to relieve himself…. all over my friend’s white socks and shiny shoes! And if that wasn’t bad enough, he decided my neighbour (Dougie) needed watering too! What was Ben thinking? He’d NEVER done anything like this to anyone ever before.
I couldn’t contain myself! I laughed so hard. I needed to release some of the turmoil and raw emotions I had churning around inside me…. it was either laugh or cry, and I’d done a lot of crying.
My friend and neighbour saw the funny side thankfully, but to this day, I have no idea what made Ben do what he did–other than he must have had a wicked sense of humour!
The moral of my story
Give yourself permission to laugh! We all need moments of light relief during difficult times–even if they are temporal and not long-lasting. Every morsel of laughter is medicine to a hurting soul.
2. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Incorporating gratitude into our lives daily helps to change our mood from negative to positive. Gratitude helps us put things into perspective–even difficult things.
Every time you feel your mood begin to slip, think of at least one thing to be grateful about and consider yourself blessed.
Psychology has proven that gratitude makes us mentally stronger.
Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress but also plays a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower post-traumatic stress disorder rates. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.Psychology Today
Difficult times are a part of life, but with sprinkles of laughter and a healthy daily dose of gratitude, we can come through these times much stronger and more resilient.
There is nothing new under the sun
It’s worth noting that both “laughter” and “gratitude” are both mentioned in the Bible. A few examples:
“A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”Proverbs 17:22
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God!”Psalm 50:23
There is nothing new under the sun–and especially not the advice shared on this page. The wisdom behind it originates in the Bible. Psychology and all the various studies have only just caught up with these findings in recent years–more importantly, they’ve found it works!
How do you cope during difficult days? Do you have some other coping mechanism? I’d love to hear from you.
Next Monday: The importance of self-care
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