By Miranda Massie on February 2, 2017
- Who’s there?
A broken pencil.
- A broken pencil who?
Never mind. It’s pointless.
Cue the groans. Perhaps a knock-knock joke is not the best way to illustrate the helpful and healing power of humour.
At some point, you have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. While it may not be among the most cutting-edge treatments on the market, it might actually be one of the oldest and most cost-effective health boosters available.
Since February is host to Valentine’s Day, it seems like a fitting time to think about ways we might soften our hearts (emotionally) while strengthening our heart health (physically).
10 Ways Humour Can Benefit Your Heart
- Laughter activates and increases blood flow to the part of the brain involved in pleasurable feelings, which can lead to elevated mood and increased happiness.
- Both sides of the brain are stimulated during laughter, which can create more focus and clarity, as well as creativity.
- Positive emotions and laughter enhance social connections and generate intimacy through positive interactions.
- Laughter reduces at least four of the known hormones associated with stress in the body, including cortisol and dopamine.
- Laughter eases muscle tension and psychological stress, which help us to relax.
- Chemicals released in the brain during laughter bind to nervous system receptors to naturally reduce feelings of pain.
- Laughter causes blood vessels in the body to expand, increasing blood flow, leading to improved cardiovascular health.
- Laughter produces deep diaphragm breathing, which serves as a pump for the lymph nodes. Increased lymphatic function leads to antibody production and overall better immunity.
- Deep belly laughing helps exercise the lungs. The more air that you take in, the more oxygen that flows to your brain and body.
- Repeated laughter helps tone and condition muscles in the face, core and back.
This month, I invite you to look out for ways to add more laughter into your life. Watch a funny movie or attend a comedy show. Spend time with friends and family who make you laugh. Strive to find humour during stressful or trying times. Make sure you are always laughing with someone, not at the expense of others.
Though everyone’s sense of humour will differ, here are a few clips and sound effects to get you started. Remember, laughter is contagious – do your part to spread heart health around!
Baby laughing soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaQiSOAQOhg
Laughter yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGNOF8DVIPQ
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Mental Health, Miranda Massie, Physical Health | Tagged Benefits, blood pressure, editorial, emotions, Exercise, fun, funny, humour, jokes, Laughter, mood, oxygen, pain, relationships, stress management, stress relief, UBC | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on January 10, 2017
Faculty and Staff at UBC have the opportunity learn and practice mindfulness through two programs this spring:
1. Take the first steps to learning about mindfulness with the 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge 6 – March 7, 2017.
Format: Online, 10 minutes a day. Suitable for everyone, especially those with no mindfulness experience or those looking for support in incorporating mindfulness into busy day-to-day life.
2. Go in-depth and further your practice with the Mindfulness@Work program April 10 – May 15, 2017.
Format: In-person and homework practice, 1.5 hours per week for six weeks. Suitable for everyone, especially those looking to expand their knowledge behind the science of mindfulness and its applicability in the workplace.
The 30-day Mindfulness Challenge is an innovative and evidence-based online training for UBC staff and faculty looking to incorporate mindfulness into the workplace and in their everyday lives. With 10 minutes a day for 30 days, participants will be healthier, more productive and better able to problem-solve and work effectively in a team.
|How it Works:||Key Impact Areas:|
Register for the Online Challenge Now until February 3!
- UBC Vancouver staff and faculty registration link
- Submit the $25 registration fee (cash, cheque payable to UBC Human Resources, or journal voucher to KPGK) to Melissa Lafrance, Human Resources, 600 – 6190 Agronomy Rd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3.
The six-week, in-person training program will run April, 2017. For those looking for a more in-depth mindfulness training, Mindfulness@Work specifically focuses on integrating the practice of mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork, and communication.
- Delivers expert-led and evidence-based programming
- Content is delivered and classes are led by a mindfulness expert
- Learn and practice meditation and core Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
How it works:
- 5-10 minutes per day
- Online, anytime, any device
- 30 consecutive days
- $25 to join which includes participation of a buddy of your choice
Key Impact Areas:
- Health and wellbeing
- Leadership and resiliency
- Increased performance
- Teamwork and conflict resolution
Spring 2017 Program
Mondays, 9:00 – 10:15am: April 10, 18 (Tuesday), 24 & May 1, 8, 15
Retreat (mandatory): Saturday, May 6, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Register for Mindfulness@Work Program now until April 6!
- UBC Vancouver staff and faculty registration link
- Submit the $100 registration fee (cash, cheque payable to UBC Human Resources, or journal voucher to KPGK) to Melissa Lafrance, Human Resources, 600 – 6190 Agronomy Rd, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3
- Most staff & faculty have the option to access one of UBC’s professional development funding programsto cover the $100 registration fee. Learn more about PD funds here.
Posted in Events, Mental Health, Mindful Moments | Tagged 30 day challenge, attention, Focus, mental health, Mindfulness, mindfulness@work, Mindwell U, program, registration, stress relief, training | Leave a response