Sunday, July 07, 2013

The hump speech - "Laughter, the best medicine"

Last Thursday, I did my 5th speech for Toastmasters. 
This being the half way point, I needed this to be good.
CC5 focuses on 'Your Body Speaks' and I needed to move around a little bit and add more gestures. The title came to me because of the jokes section of Reader's Digest. Here goes: 

Are you feeling low? Are you feeling down? Do you need a pick me up?
I have the perfect remedy for you!
Toastmasters and honored guests, good afternoon.

This is not an ad for a drug or a crisis helpline! What I am trying to sell to you, is an all-natural, free and always available cure for everything that could go wrong in your day: LAUGHTER!
How do you feel when you laugh? Doesn’t laughter make you feel better if you are having a bad day? Did you know that in addition to the instant vacation you get, laughter may make you feel better physically? Research has shown that laughter makes the brain release endorphins that can relieve some physical pain. So in theory, whether you have a headache or a heartache, laughter might help you through it. How could you use more of this miracle cure in every day life? Let me give you a couple of things you could do!

First, be ready to laugh at yourself. Have you ever watched kids finding endless amusement in the silliest of little things? The latest video to become viral is the video of 2 toddlers each playing with an elastic band on doorknobs and laughing hysterically. Who would have thought? Elastic bands! Kids usually go into hysterics when they do something silly and then laugh at themselves. Somewhere along the way, adults lose touch with their inner child and their ability to be silly. We take ourselves too seriously and do not laugh at ourselves readily.  People wonder whether I am on drugs or have gone coo coo when I’m being silly or insanely happy laughing at myself. Don’t mind me, I’m just having a mini-break from the daily grind!

My second suggestion is to tap into your memory bank of funny anecdotes. Imagine this, 2 of my girlfriends and I got lost driving in the States once. As I was trying to figure out where to go, the car started making a weird flapping noise. One friend got busy looking up directions so we decided to stop by the side of the road to investigate the noise. As I slowed down, I asked my friend in the back seat to find the origin of the noise. ‘Huh?’ she said, ‘let me close the window…I cannot hear you girls over that noise’. With the window closed, all was quiet!!! The wind coming through the open back window was making all this din.  That is probably not the funniest story you have heard, but to the 3 of us, recalling that moment of panic because we might possibly be lost with a broken car across the border and the realization that the noise was just the wind, always bring us to tears laughing. Sometimes I am smiling while walking down the street because I’m recalling a funny moment. Sometimes I am laughing by myself because I am replaying a hilarious conversation in my head.  I sure look like a crazy person doing so, but I think every person should have a fountain of funny moments to go to for an instant pick-me-up moment!

I once read that 3 minutes of laughter a day could help to keep you healthy. I’m fairly sure I laugh for more than 3 mins a day. Do I ever get sick? Of course! But even in sickness, if you can either be silly and laugh at yourself, or if you can tap into some cheerful memories, you will definitely be in a better mood. Something that no other remedy can give you instantly. So, be ready to laugh and build up your arsenal of laughable moments. Laughter is the best medicine and you too may use it on a daily basis! The recommended dose: a minimum 3 minutes a day!