Category Archives: Laughter

What The Muppets Taught Me

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Is it odd to love The Muppets more than the average bear?

While it’s true, my family thinks there’s something seriously wrong with memuppet when I express overt enthusiasm for this peculiar gang of characters, I can’t help the goofiness they bring out in me. And I’m flat out gaga over the return of The Muppet Show this fall on TV. But more than their whimsical antics that string along my amusement, The Muppets have meted out some good horse sense.

Here’s what The Muppets taught me:

 

1. Stay playful

The Muppets peddle humor. Stress has no audience when I allow the child in me to be her goofy self. Any weight on my shoulders disappears at the arrival of laughter and silliness.

Laughter is the best medicine. In addition to helping the mind to stay positive, laughing triggers the release of endorphins in your body–the feel good chemicals and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. Stay merry my friends. Engage in laughter is what the muppets taught me!

 

2. Use encouraging words

kermit-54237_640Kermit, the philosophical frog and ringleader, isn’t your typical skipper. He cares so deeply for his buddies that he thinks of ways to be helpful and encouraging, especially if any one of them is in a jam.

He’s the wise guru for a gang of seriously off-beat oddballs. He believes in the genuine goodness of the world. And that reminds me that I do, too. His consistent quest keeps me more aware that people need encouragement and compassion. And, being different is a rare and good thing.

 

3. Rock outmuppet3

Music makes my soul want to dance. It’s a power that lifts my spirit. It moves me. And who can go wrong with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem? A band stuck in the 60’s. Me, too!

muppet2When it comes to tickling the ivories, Rowlf the Dog plays piano like my good friend David Longo. He also has a pretty good singing voice. Rowlf, not David.

But nothing beats Kermit sitting on a log in a swamp, playingkermit1 the banjo and singing The Rainbow Connection, for lovers, and dreamers, and me. La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da ohhh

 

4. It’s okay to suck as a cook

I’ve pored over most of the gibberish cooking advice from the Swedish Chef. I’m relieved that food and utensils flying through the air is not as bad as I muppet1previously thought.

Thank goodness jogging back and forth along the kitchen counter is perfectly normal.

And to make a word salad, you simply talk to yourself or hum a nonsensical song. At last, a chef I can relate to! Bork! Bork! Bork!

 

5. Spread love. Pass it on.

It’s impossible to look at a Muppet and not feel some goodness in life.muppet5

Jim Henson created The Muppets in 1955 with a visionary passion. When he died in 1990, Disney eventually bought the rights to The Muppets in 2004. I’m thankful for the vision of love, morals, humor, and hope Henson played out with all his created characters. All the qualities of a well-played life, human and otherwise.

In 2006, Kermit the Frog was credited as the author of the self-help guide “Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons” — an “autobiography” written from the perspective of the Muppet himself.

Life’s greatest lessons. That’s what The Muppets taught me.

 

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay unless otherwise noted

Seven Ways To Age With Spunk

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Let me ask you a question: what is your outlook about getting older?

forgetThis aging business is not for the weak. Aging. Growing older. Sucks. It takes guts. It feels like a second puberty stage, but in reverse. I resent aging. And I’m fighting it tooth and nail. My dresser top is packed with creams, serums, lotions, and round-Stridex-like-pads that are not Stridex, they are some type of over-the-counter peel. Is any of this stuff working? When will my 20-year-old lips return?

Why didn’t someone warn us about the changes that come with getting older? Why didn’t my mother pull me aside and say, “Look, one day you will have more crow’s feet than crows, and there will be a map of lines on your forehead, and the skin on your body will slide a full six inches down, but, hey, you’ll be okay.”

Of course everyone is aging as the years go by. It’s reaching a certain age, however, that shock and awe tend to take us by surprise. It occurs in front of a mirror where we view changes made by nature that only leave hints of our former self. There will be gasps of horror. What the hell happened? It’s different for each of us what age this is.

I often ask myself if I would blow 50K to have something done to my face and body to look younger. Women have, for a long time, worked to fight the aging process with plastic surgery. Men are doing more about their appearances, too. In February of 2014, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013 in the United States; which marked the fourth consecutive year of growth. When it comes to reversing signs of age, it appears many of us are taking it lying down. But, surgical alterations are not even an option for most of us.

Why Fun Is Important

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IMG_2316Do you think your childhood was packed away when you boxed up those Lego’s, Etch-A-Sketch, and coloring books? Do you think the kid you once were ceased to exist when you stopped using crayons? It’s a mistake to think that the kid you once were is part of your past along with Charlie Brown sheets and Play Mobile Sets. That young girl or boy is very much a part of your life today. He or she shows up at work every morning. In every relationship you experience, he or she is present. It’s not true that at some point you cease to be a kid because your body morphs into an adult.

If you’ve been working day and night, with no fun, you may be out of touch with your inner kid. He or she is that child-like part of you that is spontaneous, silly, playful, and comical. Adult sports, hobbies and interests are all expressions of play where fun and laughter surface.

Author and Life Coach, Martha Beck, writes: Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Why-You-Need-More-Fun-in-Your-Life-Martha-Beck

Don’t feel guilty for having fun. The time you give to an activity that you enjoy is d5804b95c88b361a7bde79e79ebc2f78a solid investment in good health and success. There are well-documented benefits of fun and laughter. It relaxes the body, reduces stress and toxins, helps to relieve pain, improves the immune system and circulation, plus stimulates hormones that release feel-good endorphin’s. Research also shows that fun and laughter strengthens relationships and can help defuse quarrels. Wouldn’t you sign-up for this?

IMG_2353Even in the midst of difficulties, injecting some fun activities and laughter can go a long way towards reducing stress and providing a fresh perspective during tough times. Participating in anything that is fun helps to give the problem-solving and thinking part of the brain a break and cues the creative part where insights and imaginative ideas live.

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com