Ever catch your reflection by surprise? I don’t mean sneaking up on your shadow. Once in a while you may walk past a window or mirror and be surprised or even startled to notice your own image from the corner of your eye.
As you may already be aware, my hypnotherapy and life coaching practice recently relocated from Arcata to Cardiff, just north of San Diego. This new chapter for me has been filled with unexpected challenges.
Don’t cry for me Argentina. I’m fine and glad to be writing again after a little hiatus.
Best of all, the tip I can share with you today comes from personal experience.
Some of my clients have heard me use a metaphor borrowed from Jamie Smart’s book “Clarity” that compares the mind to a puddle of mud.
The puddle is cloudy and murky, with particulates floating around. The only way to be able to see your reflection in the surface is to wait for all the floaty stuff to settle.
When our minds get overactive and filled with too many thoughts, we likewise lose our clarity until things settle down up there. The temptation may be to try thinking our way out of hazy confusion or emotional disturbance, but that’s like sticking your arm in the mud puddle.
It only stirs things up more.
Just noticing thoughts and/or feelings without judgment or action can be a more useful response. Generally I’m quite good at practicing what I preach on this. Lately I’ve had to take it to a new level.
I’ve watched my thoughts and allowed the surface of the puddle to become clear. But I’ve also felt my body experience unusual forms of stress at the same time.
So here’s the tip…
I realized the surface of the puddle was showing me a ridiculous reflection of myself that I just had to laugh at.
Laughter is a great stress reliever. It also elevates mood, improves circulation, strengthens the immune system, and provides several other health benefits.
We don’t even need a reason to laugh!
Enthusiastic laughter for its own sake will stimulate happy hormones in the brain to provide the same health benefits as laughter at something funny.
That’s not news – it’s the basis for laughter yoga, which I’ve been passionate about for several years.
The novel thing here for me has been the visualization of myself in the calm puddle still looking silly.
The next time you feel a bit off, try this for yourself and let me know how quickly you can notice a change.