Your brain is waiting to be tickled.
A part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens loves to be flooded with a substance called dopamine.
When dopamine hits the nucleus accumbens, we feel great!
There are a number of ways to tickle that part of the brain.Eating food is one, sex is another, seeing scenes or pictures of pleasant emotional scenes is another. One of the easiest, most accessible, readily available at any time and effective ways is laughter.
The relatively new science of pscyhoneuroimmunoendocrinology or PNI deals with the interplay of the organs and glands that regulate our behaviour and physiological balance.
Laughter and happiness researchers Drs. Berk and Henslin coined a phrase “dopaminergic upregulation in the nucleus accumbens.” (Thanks to Laughter Yoga Teacher Jeffrey Briar for this info). It is their scientific way of saying “feeling happy.”
What it refers to is dopamine flooding that area of the brain and we feel great. But to the scientists indicates that in a certain region of the brain (the nucleus accumbens) there are biochemical influences (dopaminergic upregulation, or “higher levels of dopamine”).
Laughter, and here is a major key to finding a way to “tickle your brain,” fake laughter produces this dopamine to flood that specific area of the brain. You don’t even have to consciously do anything else. You don’t have to say: “OK, now I direct my system to send dopamine to the nucleus accumbens.” No, our systems are hard wired to do that for us. All we have to do is laugh or fake the laughter.
For many of us, the big hurdle is “feeling silly” while doing it. The challenge is to push through that stage, which doesn’t have to last very long. You may remember the book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Well, this is similar, feel silly and do it anyway.
Beyond Feeling Great
There is another reason to laugh beside just that it allows us to feel great. That other reason is that your life may well depend on it.
In his wonderful book When the Body Says No – The Cost of Hidden Stress, Dr. Gabor Mate’ outlines the many diseases from cancer on down that feed on stress.
The stress factors, cortisol, adrenaline and catecholines depress the immune system…for a good reason. When we are faced with a threat, our bodies respond by preparing us for flight or fight as a defense mechanism. Were it not for this process, our ancestors would have been meals for the Saber Tooth Tiger or other predators and we would not be here. So stress has a hugely important function in our survival as a species and as individuals.
Why is Stress Bad Then?
When we have continuous release of the stress factors, the our immune system becomes compromised and can no longer work at anywhere near peak efficiency. (I am not a doctor, so this is super simplified, but the concept is still valid)
“Chronic” stress is the term when we are in a constant state of “flight or fight.” We were not designed for this constant flow of stress hormones. It has been said that stress is the number one killer as it has now been shown to be linked as at the least a contributing factor in many illnesses.
If so, how can we release the hold those stress hormones have on us?
You guessed it: Laughter.
One of the secrets I recently came across is this: the stress hormones cannot coexist in our bodies with the feel good hormones like the endorphins.
So…your mission should you decide to accept is to find a way to release the chronic stress. (Yes, we all tend to have it in modern society).
I humbly propose laughter as one of the most effective, easily accessible ways. Just for you, I have produced a 10 minute video so you can laugh along with me. By the way, it’s no good saying “I laugh a lot anyway.” It takes about ten minutes of sustained laughter to get the health benefits. In every day life, that rarely happens. Most of the time when we laugh at a joke or a humorous situation, the laugh lasts for a few seconds. That’s not quite enough.
On the right had side of this page, you will see a way to access my “Authentic Joy” video. http://joyenergyandhealth.com/
You may also choose to laugh with others at a Laughter Yoga Club. Here in Victoria, these are the club schedules: http://victorialaughteryogaclub.wordpress.com/laughter-schedule/
May the Joy and Laughter be with you always, all ways.
Enjoy the rest of the read,
In this issue:
The Cold & Flu Prevention Strategy You’ve Been Missing
How to Protect Against Superbugs:
Sugar Substitutes—What’s Safe and What’s Not
Reverse type 1 diabetes with a raw food diet
10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science
►BOOKS WORTH READING
►MOVIES WORTH WATCHING
►FINAL WORD: Don’t Worry, Eat Chocolate
“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows. There is no code of conduct to help beginners. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.”
Sophia Loren, Actress
The Cold & Flu Prevention Strategy You’ve Been Missing http://tinyurl.com/lotjcn4
How to Protect Against Superbugs: The role of Tea Tree, Lemongrass and Eucalyptus
Sugar Substitutes—What’s Safe and What’s Not http://tinyurl.com/m9rasv5
Reverse type 1 diabetes with a raw food diet http://tinyurl.com/lxa43s2
10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science
BOOKS WORTH READING
When the Body Says No -Dr. Gabor Mate’http://tinyurl.com/yjworl9
Dr. Mate’ on Wikipedia: http://tinyurl.com/mwyul6k
MOVIES WORTH WATCHING
The Sapphires http://tinyurl.com/aupc6t3
Based on a true story
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
(Hey, another reason to laugh: Success!)
Don’t Worry, Eat Chocolate 🙂 http://tinyurl.com/ma66vl4
That’s it for now. Enjoy your month.
The Inner Circle
You just might want to see more of these kinds of stories/anecdotes than the once a month Mastery Newsletter.
The “Inner Circle” explores a whole lot more subjects than I can fit into a monthly newsletter.
It is “ad hoc,” meaning it arrives in your inbox whenever I run across something, that could be once every 2 or 3 weeks.
It might also be a few times in a single day. As always, simple to unsubscribe if it gets to be too much.
TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE INNER CIRCLE: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “SUB INNER CIRCLE” in the subject line.
Publisher Matti Anttila © Copyright Matti Anttila 2013.
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