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Go Be a Kid

June 29, 2012 by  
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As you may have noticed, things were a little serious here for a bit with my wife’s surgery. Last week, to counter that some, I talked about how laughter is such a great curative. But I also wanted to mention something else that is really great for your mind, body and spirit … letting yourself be a kid again!

The things that weigh on us will be there until they are worked through but you cannot let them overwhelm you and take over your life. Take time to escape and allow yourself to refuel. One of the best ways to do this is simply go back to the things you loved doing as a kid. Go to the zoo, an amusement park, or a playground and goof off. Buy yourself a cool toy or game. You’ll find that occupying yourself with these simple pleasures can completely take you away from all of that “heavy” stuff and take you back to a time when you didn’t have quite so many responsibilities.

You might even try hanging out more with the kids in your life. We can learn amazing things from the young ones who are still just exploring the world. They live in the moment and usually don’t worry about what happened before that time or what will happen later. See if you can’t let go and just enjoy some play time.

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?

The Healing Power of Laughter

June 22, 2012 by  
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I know the subject matter has been a little heavy the last couple posts–not that it’s any wonder after spending those couple weeks in the hospital watching over my wife. She is doing better every day, by the way. Thank you all for your support and well wishes.

I want to talk more about taking care of yourself but this time, I want to talk about one of the easiest ways to help keep your mind, body and spirit in good shape–laughing. I think human beings have always known that laughter had wonderful side benefits. You even see a reference in the Old Testament to the healing properties of humor: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Although life can be difficult and, at times, discouraging, you can always inject a little humor into your day to pick you up and reduce your worry.

Norman Cousins, in his book “Anatomy of an Illness,” strongly believes that humor cured his debilitating disease. He watched old Marx Brothers movies and allowed himself to laugh uncontrollably. Eventually, he was able to overcome his disease and lived a long and healthy life into his 80s. By laughing!

Laughter has been shown to reduce pain, bolster the immune system and decrease destructive levels of stress. The process of making a joke about something we find dire or frightful can also put situations and how we deal with them into perspective and show us these things aren’t as overwhelming or as scary as they might first appear.

So, if things are getting tough, just remember to laugh (appropriately of course!) Laugh at yourself, laugh at difficult coincidences, look for the silliness in a situation and just let yourself laugh. When you need outside help with this, do as Norman did and watch a funny show or movie or read a humorous book. Get together with friends and let them know you need a good laugh and see if things don’t start to look much brighter and lighter.

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?

Changing for Better Health BEFORE the Alarms Go Off

June 15, 2012 by  
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Sometimes it takes huge bells on a gigantic clock to wake us up enough to change our thoughts and our habits. But, sadly, too many times when the alarm goes off we hit the snooze button or even sleep right through the loud ringing. I had the opportunity to see quite a few wake-up alarms going off at the hospital in Boston where my wife underwent a difficult surgery and I hope to permanently learn from them.

One such alarm was seeing and talking to a patient who had half her lungs taken out 5 weeks before but was back in the hospital with blood clots. Her husband took me aside and told me how sad it was. His wife smoked but never a lot. Still, she couldn’t seem to give it up. He was really hoping that this was a loud enough wake up bell that she wouldn’t hit the snooze button this time.

Another thing that really hit me was seeing so many obese people in the halls. This wake-up call was more one of empathy for them, knowing many were there for obese related problems. I realized that even though the alarm was going off for them, food addiction is even harder to give up than smoking! Unlike cigarettes, you can’t totally stop eating food, so in a way a person who overeats is constantly teasing and tempting himself or herself every time they eat.

Being in a hospital environment, there are many instances where you are exposed to the problems people have with taking care of themselves. The big take away, at least for me, is knowing that we all need to be much more observant, to see our own selves clearly and see what we need to be doing to stay healthy. We need to figure out better paths to go down before we get the big wake up calls. Additionally, I would say–don’t hit the snooze button! Go out and make the necessary changes—now!

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?

Using Our Capacity to Help Others to Help Ourselves

June 8, 2012 by  
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As you probably know by now, I have been in Boston helping my wife through some difficult medical procedures. Observing my wife’s first 3 days after her delicate 6 hour surgery, in so much discomfort, pain, suffering and nausea, woke up my empathy beyond words to the point that I desperately wanted to be able to share some of that pain if not take it all myself.

Then after the first 3 days knowing that Kimberly’s condition didn’t allow her to eat a single morsel of food it really hit me just how long we can go without food and not damage our health. I decided to give Kimberly some moral support by not eating for 3 days. Not that she uttered one word of complaint in that time but I knew it would help her–and me–to be in this together. To be honest, I did have one small salad each of the 3 days I did this because I had to take care of myself to some extent to continue to have strength to be there for her.

The thing is, being here and realizing what we really can do for each other, the suffering we can take on for others has got me thinking about how much we could take on for ourselves. We tend to avoid pain, discomfort and difficult situations even when we know it would be better for us to go through the hard times to get to a better place in our lives. So it got me thinking … if we will go through so much because of our love for another person, couldn’t we do this for the love of ourselves?

It’s something to think about the next time you hesitate to take on a difficult challenge. Do you love yourself enough to do this to make your life better?

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?