Archives for Laughter

Authentic happiness

Increase Your Happiness: Upregulate Positive Feelings

There has been considerable focus on the attempt to down-regulate (reduce) negative emotions as a way to relieve stress, depression, and the intrusive thinking that follows traumatic events. As such, the focus on positive emotions has largely been used to offset and reduce negative feelings and thoughts.
A Reason to Upregulate Positive Feelings

Recent evidence directs us to consider that the upregulation of positive feelings may serve as a uniquely important factor in expanding our happiness on a daily basis. Researchers have found that upregulation strategies can enhance the impact of positive events on our momentary happy mood and have been associated with higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction and positive emotions.

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Benefits of Laughter

Look Who’s Laughing: Similarities and Differences in Men and Women

Laughing is a wonderful human trait that we all share. It is something we do from earliest childhood and something that benefits us in many ways.

Physically, laughter relaxes skeletal and cardiovascular muscles. The rapid breathing associated with laughter increases oxygen level and improves respiratory function.
Psychologically, laughter has been associated with reduction of stress and anxiety as well as improvement in mood, self-esteem and coping skills.
Cognitively, neuroscientist, Scott Weems tells us that humor is like exercise for the brain. It necessitates insight and flexibility because it involves following the thread of the story and then enjoying the surprise, the pun or the unexpected. It is delightful when you realize from a child’s giggle that they “ get the joke” and heartwarming when the elderly are still “getting it” and laughing.
Socially we know that laughter invites connection and is contagious. If you enter a room where everyone is laughing, before long there is a good chance you will be laughing even without knowing why. Some feel that the purpose of laughter is to strengthen human bonds.

Whereas men and women both enjoy humor and benefit from laughing, there are some interesting gender differences.
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Celebration

Finding The Healing Potential In Holidays: Unexpected Ways

If you were a bit thrown to learn that Thanksgiving was on for this Thursday and that the Holidays were closing in fast – you were not alone.

Given the unprecedented destruction and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the continued sacrifices of our military, the escalation of international strife, the threatened fiscal cliff and the personal storms most people face, it has been difficult enough to negotiate daily life- much less, think about the...
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Authentic happiness

Forget About Time – Manage Your Energy!

No matter how hard we try, we really don’t manage time. We manage to live within its’ parameters. We can’t make the months of our spouse’s deployment less than they are. We can’t change the fact that we will be 50 years old on our next birthday or that we face an 8-hour workday, an hour commute, and two children who need to be at practice at a certain time.

We can’t manage...
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affirmation of partner

What Presidential Campaigns Can Teach You About Your Relationship

If you are human, in a relationship and living on this planet there will be decisions to make and problems to solve. They may be intrinsic to your circumstances, imposed upon you by outside factors, or a function of your personal needs and goals.

For most couples issues related to jobs, residence, children, socializing, religion, sex, money, in-laws and more demand decisions but often invite dissent.

If you want a clear example of...
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affair

Improve Your Marriage by Having an Affair…With Your Spouse

Do you have any idea how much work goes into an affair?

When you take into account the effort, the planning, the stolen moments, the affection, the creative communications and the anticipation of connection – you have to wonder what having an affair with your spouse could do for a marriage.

The likelihood is that it will do great things.

Having an affair with your spouse is something I have recommended to couples for years. It is an antidote to what Esther Perel describes as “Mating in Captivity,” the neutralizing of connection, the tendency to take each other for granted, the need to prioritize the kids, the jobs, the house, the money…. over the romance.

Does having an affair sound irrational, unlikely, possibly erotic and without guarantees? Yes. That’s the nature of affairs…only this one has a real chance of a happy ending.

What Do You Need to Have an Affair?

Here are the ingredients for having an affair – Do you have anything to lose?
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affair

‘Friends With Benefits’ or Friends With Complications?

According to the urban dictionary, ‘friends with benefits’ are defined as “Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved.”

Wait a minute… didn’t someone say that once people see each other naked they can’t be friends?

In my experience working with people, I have found that those who have acted on what is now termed, “friends with benefits” often end up as “friends with complications” - or not friends at all.

Both men and women who sleep with a friend often start out believing, or telling themselves and each other  “It’s no big deal. Why not?"

The reality seems to be that it is a big deal emotionally – if not for both, often for one. Sleeping with a friend changes the definition of the relationship in terms of physical boundaries, emotional connection, conscious and unconscious expectations, view of self and other.
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attractiveness

Enhancing Your Sexuality: Six Important Strategies

Anna Freud invited us to consider that “Sex is something you do, sexuality is something you are.”

Building on this, we can define sexuality as the way we experience and express ourselves as sexual beings. What makes sexuality a complex dimension is that it is determined by many factors including our body, gender, age, culture, history, media, religion and family.

What makes our experience of our sexuality important is that it affects our overall sense of self, our relationship with others and the life we live.

The most important factor enhancing our sexuality – one that is often overlooked but can out-trump age, culture, prior history, and body type is ATTITUDE.

The man or woman with an accepting sense of self is most often the most attractive person in the room….
He/she is not necessarily the person with the classic looks, the newest car or the best paying job; but rather, the person smiling, making eye contact, enthused with others and enthused with life.
The positive way we think and how we feel about ourselves plays a major role in our sexuality and in the pleasure we have in expressing it.

Developing a positive attitude will enhance sexuality. Here are some strategies.
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Can People Really Be Happy? Maybe

On May 8th, 2012, award-winning author and illustrator of the children’s book, Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, died. He was 83. In a postscript written about him in The New Yorker this week, Mariana Cook revisited some of what he had offered in a 2009 interview. In that interview, Sendak shared his feeling that it is hard to be happy and that some people find it easier than others. He ended with the question,

“Do you believe it when people say they are happy?”

In one of the final interviews Maurice Sendak allowed with Terri Gross on NPR in late 2011, he said something different, “I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people.”

In his words, this very creative man underscores the challenge, complexity and possibility of happiness.

Resonating with this, I recently wrote a blog for the
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