Friday, February 13, 2009

Smile

Haha- I just had to put up this photo. Thank you Robert Nickelsberg, I love this. It's not the best quality reproduction, but this is a laughter club in India where women go to help prevent and treat depression and other medical issues. The practice is called "hasyayog" and I think it is awesome. People who have the resiliency to be able to laugh at problems that come their way are, I believe, much better off as far as their psychological health. This seems like a strange thing to talk about, but I guess I am being given a degree in Clinical & Developmental Psychology in a couple of months, so maybe I should try to share some things I have learned. Having a positive outlook, positive social support, and general hardiness have been clinically found to improve health- even significantly improving one's chances of recovering from cancer in a study done on US women with breast cancer! (Sorry, I can't remember the name of that researcher off the top of my head- its driving me crazy- but if you are interested, let me know and I'll look it up.)
I have also studied a lot about the pressure that stress puts on the body and the psychological and, believe it or not, physical harm that ruminating over your problems can do. Take home message: do something that is relaxing for yourself everyday. I am a huge fan of nighttime rituals, they can really help abate the stress of the day and prepare for a repairing and restful sleep. Get into the habit of listening to Enya, stretching, or reading something positive before going to sleep. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for bed, begin to relax and de-stress as you wash your face, brush your teeth, etc. so that your mind can be prepared to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
Again, I know this is a little odd, but trust me. Just the physical act of smiling, even if you don't mean it, has been clinically found to promote the release of endorphins into your blood stream. So just pretending to be happy can lead you in the right direction! Moral of the story: relax and smile more. Your body, which includes your brain, will thank you.

1 comment:

qsu said...

Lindsey...you are a wonder! What great expressions you are able to communicate...your blog is thought provoking! One note: hopefully this economy will be turning around about the time you graduate from law school...so hold that good thought!
I want to wish you a belated Happy Birthday and admit I'm late but I actually remembered in the February period! Many things on my plate and #1 at the moment being the Quilt Show in St. George which I am co-chairing...comes off Friday and Saturday before Easter while the St George art show in the street is simultaneously happening! The two years we have held this show (2007 and now) coincide with the arrival of my Moran grandchildren...so again, I will not go to VA until after his arrival, but 2 weeks starting April 14. I digress...I need your address in Provo as I've only got pre-Jerusalem one and I know that's really outdated...I would like to send you a fun, laughable, thought-provoking birthday card...I'm sure that's asking a lot of Hallmark, but I'm willing to search! Do you get my email address when I post? It's qsu@beyondbb.com. Love and Hugs and a Smile back to you! Aunt Margaret