Playa Community it is Time to Laugh out Loud!!!

LOL, Ha ha ha ha, hee hee, tee hee, giggle giggle - snort ! When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh?  For some of us, laughter comes easy; life for some seems to tickle us and have us laughing or giggling a few times a day.  However, for most people, I don't think they can remember the last time they had a really good chuckle.

When I get to the point of an uncontrollable laugh, I start to tear, I usually have to bend over to catch my breath and I am then giggling for hours after I have regained composure.  I love it!  If I could have a laugh like this everyday, I don't think I would ever have to do another sit-up again.  My question is, why do we stop laughing?  As kids, we are always giggling and laughing.  My 4 year old niece finds everything funny.  I send her a picture of our cats or our puppy and she is laughing.  Make a funny face and she is laughing, if I start laughing she laughs.  Somewhere along the line though, life and realities and stress get a hold of us and we stop laughing.

I recently found out there are laughing groups, that exist just to get people to laugh.  I did some research on laughter and found that it not only is enjoyable but can be instrumental to health and wellness.  When we laugh, we release endorphins.  Endorphins are a hormone chemical that we release when exercising or really doing something that is good for us.  It is known as our physical reward.

According to research laughter has proven to have the following health and stress reducing qualities:

    * Laughter increases the release of endorphins which increases the number of antibody producing cells (T-cells)  in our body.  This all means a stronger immune system
    * Laughter provides a physical and emotional release, have you ever heard yourself saying  "I don't know whether to laugh or cry"
    * Internal workout:  Laughing is a great exercise for your abs, core, shoulders and even your heart.  Leaving them all more relaxed and stronger.  (1)

Now we just need to figure out a way to laugh more and stop taking life so seriously.  After my friend told me about these laughing groups of course I had to google and figure out what she was referring to.  Sure enough one of the top hits was .  This site lists everything from laughing meditation groups, laughter therapy, laughing yoga and groups of people that just meet up and laugh.  I am fortunate to have found a partner in life that loves to make me laugh.  His humour and quick wit often catch me so off guard I find myself having to stop and bend over, or save myself from choking on my drink.  Whether it is dressing the dog up in my clothes and sending her into my office to make me chuckle or shooting me a quick email with a witty comment or picture, I find myself giggling almost all day long.

Living and moving to Panama for some of us was a little tough or offered some day to day challenges, I know it did with us.  We had to change the way we approached our new home and we had to really start to see the humour in many of those things that could drive us nuts.  The next time you run into us, please ask me about the time I spent 3 hours in Chame reporting my lost blackberry, or ask me to show you Allan's email to me on my blackberry while he waited for his car to be inspected in Chorrera for new plates.    To some that I have told these stories to, they just shake their heads and say how do you do it.  However to others, we have laughed and shared in the humour of reality, life and the fun we are having here in Panama.

As always I am sending you off with a task.  Over the next week, count how many times you participate in a sober belly laugh and how many times you find yourself frustrated in a day. Then look at the frustrated moment and see where you may have been able to turn that into a quick giggle or chuckle.  I bet you will start to see life a little differently, and possibly a bit more positively.  Laughter is contagious and can truly turn any situation around in a split second.  I want us all to Laugh out Loud, giggle when we can, chuckle or snort, and I look forward to laughing with you "Aqui en Panama".



Karyn Saunders is a Life Coach who lives in Hacienda Pacifica with her
partner; Allan,  their 2 cats and Nina their Panamanian Puppy.  Karyn has
been on the road to Health and Wellness after she made some crucial life
changes over 12 years ago.  Karyn admits: "I was 50lb overweight, a daily
smoker and I knew something had to change".   Karyn quickly became active.
She has completed a marathon many triathlons, and you will often find her
out on the golf course, tennis courts, running on the beach with  the 6:30am
boot camp crew, or battling the surf with Allan at Playa Serena.  Her
passion to living a an active lifestyle has taken her on some fabulous
adventures.  "My goal is to help our society see the forest through the
trees when it comes to "Health and Wellness",  physically and emotionally. I
have a quality of life that is second to none, and my goal is to help those
that want it too"