“I may be crazy but it keeps me from going insane” – Waylon Jennings
Monotony can be a stranglehold. Too much seriousness dampens the soul. Where there is little colour and adventure and fun in life, the senses dull and waste like the forgotten leftovers in the back of the fridge. Bringing our inner child out into the sunshine and allowing them to play with the world is a sure-fire way to BOOST VITALITY.
…….sometimes, life really shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
Let’s face it, at some point in our working lives we’ve all swiftly escaped from behind our orderly desks and buzzing computers to lock ourselves in a bathroom stall and shake out some pent-up energy. Pull a few faces. Maybe dish out a bit of silent sass to the boss before stretching out every limb like an amateur mime and promptly returning to our paperwork.
Life is meant to be lived in BALANCE. It’s bad enough that we are bombarded with fear, negativity, tragedy and suffering each day via the media. It’s bad enough that marketing conglomerates liberally apply success and sex-based advertising to billboards, magazines, T.V and internet sites in a brazen attempt to appeal to our subconscious…and it’s bad enough that we, in our fast-paced lives, absorb these subliminal messages and hold ourselves to some very unrealistic, unhealthy standards.
It’s those liberating moments of freedom and light-heartedness that help us re-centre, unravel and de-stress…and honestly is there anything better then de-robing seriousness for a night and instead donning socks and pyjamas and dancing around the house to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’?….I welcome further suggestions.
According to The British Library (www.bl.uk) the very word ‘silly’ has evolved and changed meaning throughout time. Originally, the word ‘silly’ or ‘seely’ was used to describe a state of happiness, bliss, to be lucky or blessed. It then evolved into having more of a meaning around that of innocence, or deserving of compassion.
Now then….what better anecdote could there be to that insidious poison FEAR that can at times course through our veins and seize up all our energy. Fear of not being good enough, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, of disappointment, fear of being alone…the list goes on at times…
“You need a little bit of insanity to do great things” – Henry Rollins
SO, if you needed more proof of the health benefits of being DOWNRIGHT BONKERS, consider this. Psychology Today released an incredible article on research conducted correlating ye olde hearty laughter, quirky little acts and general light-heartedness to enhanced problem solving ability – kick-starting our tired analytical brains into ‘associative’ thinking, rather than linear alone. The anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC region in the brain, is primarily responsible for regulating attention and solving problems and it is this same region that lights up when there is creative insight prior to solving both reasonably simple, as well as complex problems.
“The hallmark of really effective brainstorming is an abundance of genuine and heartfelt laughter. There’s a reason for this: Laughter can help people solve problems that demand creative solutions, by making it easier to think more broadly and associate ideas/relationships more freely.” Psychology Today
Another study conducted involved 84 participants including students, professional designers and improvisational comedians. Each took carefully designed brainstorming tests, with the improvisational comedians producing 20% more ideas than the designers, as well as ideas that were rated as 25% more INNOVATIVE. The research suggested games used in improvisational comedy were such effective brainstorming tools, that implementation in product design idea generation would likely see an increase in productivity through increased idea output.
An assistant research professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico and a practising clinical neuropsychologist, Rex Jung, states in the article that:
“creative capacities are not the same as intellectual capacities. The ability to acquire and process facts and observations—to reason—is fundamentally different from the ability to put them together in innovative ways…” – Psychology Today – The Power of Humour in Ideation and Creativity. (www.psychologytoday.com)
So what does this all mean for you and me?
It means that not only are we raising our vibration, releasing tension, getting our blood flowing, improving our moods – and therefore general well-being – by going a little bit crazy at times, we’re also helping that 9-to-5 part of our lives that require us to analyse, make good decisions, ‘think on our feet’ and come up with effective solutions…we are essentially PLAYING in order to problem solve. We are engaging our inner child and asking him or her to give us a helping hand
If perhaps you are having trouble getting started because you have taken it upon yourself to be perfect at all times, to commit to some impossible standards! Then do not fear Wonder Woman, there are many simple tricks you can do each day to play with your inner child.
- In the morning, look at yourself in the mirror for 20 seconds. Then after 20 seconds, pull a face, any silly face. Hold your gaze. Repeat until you are audibly laughing at yourself… and when I say “at yourself” what you are really doing is laughing with yourself. Repeat daily.
- Download one of various apps that will send you a joke-a-day. Send to friends and join in with some humorous banter.
- Dance like you’ve got 10 giant Huntsman spiders on you, all rivalling to get in under your clothes. Dance like you have been suddenly reincarnated as a giant octopus and are unsure of how to swim just yet. Dance until you smile, sing if you have to, just dance. Do it anywhere and everywhere, and if you have to include the dog, then so be it.
- Jim Carrey impersonations in the car work a treat. You don’t have to be good at them either.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yours in Health,
.Written and compiled by Carmen Jose for Evolving Health Clinic