Being A Secret Agent Of Change – Finding Your Inner Giggle

DSCF2366Giggle? How easily can you find a giggle? There is always one somewhere if you look deeply enough. I have even found them in the most profoundly troubled people, and they always appreciate it.

Last week I was going into the hospital to see my sister, who had had a serious operation. There was a woman by the lift who was quietly collapsing in obvious pain, with three concerned children around her. Everyone was ignoring her.

I went up and spoke with her, found out where she was going and offered to join her on her journey there. That got the first smile. I slid down the lift wall with her and kept chatting, telling her the pain would be gone soon and she would be healthy again and happy. Again everyone else in the lift acted like we weren’t there.

I imagined the pain getting less and put my arm around her to give reassurance and hopefully to remove some pain. Then I asked her was that really a giggle she was hiding in her elbow – she laughed right through the pain, at the stupidity of my question – and I anchored it and said to watch out because it may spread all around her and make her feel better. She smiled more, I anchored it more. The lift arrived at her floor, I helped her ferry herself and the children to the right place and then wished her well and headed away to the floor my sister was on.

Later on after the visit, as my other sister collapsed leaving the hospital from the stress, that same woman was being wheeled to the patient lifts nearby. She smiled again through the pain when she saw me, and I asked if she would let my sister use her chair as she was looking better. More laughs. Funny how I was basically in the same position with my sister as I had been in the lift with that woman earlier in the day. I thought afterwards that she must think I just go round helping the sick like that. Then I found a giggle in myself.

Laughter moves lymph through the convulsions of the body and oxygenates your organs as you take in extra gulps of air. This helps remove old, dead and waste products from the organs and tissues, which in turn helps the immune system to maintain a healthy body. It releases oxytocin – the ‘love’ or ’empathy’ drug – and also endorphins and seratonin, which make you feel better and also helps reduce pain sensations. It also increases levels of immune-boosting interleukins, immunoglobulin’s and T-cells. It also reduces the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline) and dopamine. I have read that that for every minute of laughter, you produce somewhere around £6,000 worth of healthy body chemistry, in that if you had to buy these refined chemical compounds from a pharmaceutical company it would cost you this much to purchase them. But your brain is doing this for free when you laugh.

When we find something that works, we repeat it. Within around 6 weeks it becomes an established neural pattern – a habit – which can last unless it is changed. There’s no delete button as such for the brain, but it is possible to change your brain and create more meaningful and positive patterns which become the norm quickly. The more you focus on this new circuit the stronger it becomes so that it is the preferred route, rather than the old pattern. The more new circuits you build the more choices you have, and NLP is the perfect vehicle for building new behaviours accurately.

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