Friday, 25 March 2011

THE LAUGHTER MACHINE

When did you last laugh? When did you either share a joke or just smile at your partner or best friend or work colleague for no other reason than to smile and enjoy the moment with them. Do you smile all by yourself? Do you often find yourself thinking about virtually nothing in particular then smiling? Do you look at people in the street and smile and keep a pleasant face even if they look gruff or deep in morbid thought? Are you put off indeed by others dull faces and ignore them, which many do? Are you willing to keep a smile going when the road gets a bit ruff or are you one of those who wears their emotions in the open for all and sundry to see? When talking to people do you ask how they are and tell them that they look good even if they perhaps don't? Or are you one of those people who dwells on the negativity and says "Are you sure" when a positive answer is given? All these and more are signs of who you are, they are a reflection of you, they speak volumes about how you think and feel and see life. If asked most people like to think they smile and put out positive vibes, but in reality they don't do any such thing, in fact smiling is often a reserved gesture and then it's dished out only in metered amounts and for short bursts of time often instantly reverting to the "poor old me" look which they drag around with them. It's not that those who don't smile are bad or not worthy people but they are not usually the life and soul of any gathering even if they contribute when in such a meeting. Attitude is our biggest friend or foe, our attitude is what makes us communicable and engaging in life, that in itself by and large is an elevating experience, it lifts our soul and our thoughts and our feelings so that we think on a higher level and as such see the 'bigger picture' for what it is, as opposed to feeling threatened by it all.

Laughter is really good medicine, for one thing it supports our immune system as negativity lowers it, it also makes us far more approachable from strangers or even those who know of us and want to say something or ask of us, in short it allows us to commune with life which is what life is all about. Lonely people aren't lonely for nothing there is always a reason other than disability or age related situations. Being precious of the self, selfish of manner and harbouring perspectives of a negative nature leads us to feel glum and indulge in 'mind talk', once we start to cultivate that 'mind talk' strategy we lose the plot and then everything we do has a motive or possibility structure based on our thinking and not allowing the greater and good to take effect. Smiles are not just the visual aspect like we see in glossy brochures they can be translated into our voice and into our messages, smiles come through in our delivery of whatever we do and we tend to find that people herd towards similar types as they feel more comfortable, or in their mind think they do. Our attitude can be at fault if we put alien concepts to work in our though process, if we think that there are "secrets" to getting on in life, or that "mysteries" of certain cultures hold the answer then we will be forever flawed. If we feel we are disadvantaged for whatever reason (we will make one up something if there isn't anything to mind) then we will be disadvantaged and so it goes on. The more we clobber ourselves the less we will have to laugh about or smile about and the more we will even resist either thinking that 'it's not funny, how can I laugh in this situation', and then no one wants to know you anymore.

We are naturally not all gregarious people, and some have a real flair for just talking to anyone anywhere and do so with amazing ease, whilst others look like wilting wallflowers standing alone muttering to themselves to try and keep themselves calm. A smile however is something we all can do from near or afar, it costs nothing, it takes no time out of our lives and it holds a real magic all of its own in uplifting ourselves and making those important connections with others. It also means quite a lot to strangers for someone to share a smile with them even if they don't know who you are. Smiles can open doors where glum faces can shut them right in front of you. A smile like most of the body language we put out communicates instantly that we are friends not the foe, and everything is taken into context, it's not intrusive and it's not demanding, it's a truism of whom we are and helps us on our life path. Laughter for the main part is infectious, sadness and glumness isn't it's got an almost invisible negative shield around it and keeps people away even other glum people as they want the limelight with their sadness they don't want to share it with other sad people. Everyone notices those that smile and those that don't like the surly waiter or waitress, the shop assistant who couldn't care less, the abrupt help line assistant, etc, it all hits home. Even the "gatekeepers" in life that are full of their own self importance, they are usually miserable people although would shout you down to say otherwise, but they can't see it themselves. Whether smiling is natural or not, it needs to be cultivated and not that "they didn't smile at me so I'm not smiling at them" because that only smacks of your own deep rooted problems in your own attitude. Give it a go, you can only win with a smiling attitude as you've nothing to lose from where you are right now.

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John Rushton / The Life Doctor 2011