Being mindful essentially means noticing – the big and the small, that which is happening inside us and outside of us. We might think of being mindful as being serious but that ain’t necessarily the case!

Have you noticed how much you laugh?

It seems that scientists are still working out why laughter might be the best medicine but there certainly seems to be evidence of its benefits. Physically, laughter makes us relax with the resulting decrease in stress hormones and an increase in feel-good hormones. Mentally, laughter at the very least gives us a pause from anxious thoughts. Socially, laughter connects us with others.

It was a stormy weekend in the UK – and like many of you probably also did – I enjoyed a film at home with friends. One of the friends had chosen the movie for the evening. It was “based on a true story” (a bit of history retold never goes amiss), well observed (great characters) and humorous (again a winner for me).

There were many funny moments. For me one of the best was when, with the American Ambassador present among other dignitaries in a small town in Australia, a local band strikes up Hawaii Five-0 apparently believing it to be the American national anthem. I laughed at that moment. But the benefits extend beyond that first moment. As I recall the moment, I smile.

In your week, look out for the funny. Enjoy the moment. Benefit from recalling the moment.

Perhaps as we seek to notice the funny, we will get more attuned to it and find more in each day that relaxes us physically and mentally – and brings us closer to others. What’s not to like?

What was the film? The Dish, an Australian film about the role of Parkes’ observatory in televising the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Thanks Richard for bringing it!

This is Mindful Monday on 17 February 2020.

If you live in Cheltenham or nearby, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill for an evening of mindfulness on the theme of journeying into wholeness on 16 March, 7.30-9 pm, at the Oasis. We have found that the sessions we facilitate on practicing mindfulness always include laughter! To book, email




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