Archive | March, 2016

What Do Laughter, Games, & Play Have to Do with Brain Health? Everything!

30 Mar

I can’t think of a better way to start just about anything than with a bout of laughter.

Last week on Finding Your New Normal, before Mary and I brought out the puzzles and games, we kicked our session off with a breathing exercise wrapped in laughter. Here is how it went, for the most part. Give it a try!

Sit in a chair with your feet touching the ground. 

Take a deep breath in and feel the cool air rush in through your nose. Hold that breath for a beat or two at the top and feel a fountain of “good” spill down over your whole body.

As you exhale through your mouth, say HA and feel the warm air leave your mouth.

Take another deep breath in, this time intentionally breathing in joy. Feel the cool rush of joy enter your body. Again, hold that breath at the top and feel the fountain of joy wash over your entire body.

As you exhale through your mouth, say HA, HA, HA and feel the warm air leave your body but the joy remains.

Rinse and repeat holding the breath of joy at the top for three or four beats and intensify the rain of happiness and light that flows down your entire body.

This last time as you exhale through your mouth, say HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA and allow that laughter to continue until all the air leaves your lungs.

Now that is how to set up a conversation on how puzzles, games, and play promote healthy brains, balanced neurochemicals, and increase the quality of life.

Below is the link to the whole conversation but here are a few highlights:

  • Games, like Shut the Box that make you add, think strategically, and require motor skills (rolling dice), keep pathways open in multiple areas of the brain and feed you with an amazing bath of chemical and electrical activity.
  • Mary is the Queen of fidgets (little things to keep your hands busy). Fidgets are amazing focusing tools and can be used to diffuse stress, break the tension of sensory overload, and distract.
  • Games that involve words and games that involve figures / shapes help you stretch different areas of your brain.

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A Note to My Imperfect Brain

26 Mar

Dear Brain,

I am almost done grieving the losses

The loss of my keys, the loss of my words, the loss of where I fit in the world.

As peace sets in and I find a comfortable level to float

It really is time to honor, celebrate, and thank you for all I found.

Within your imperfections I learned to listen closely

And I found my voice, calling me to action.

Within the fog I walked into a deeper understanding of what is around me

And I found the focus I needed to see the beauty around me so much more clearly.

Within the confusion I learned to look for clues in the context

And I found the insight that comes with shifting my perspective.

Within the fear of doing it all wrong I heard the laughter

And I found the key to my survival.

Within the world of believing that no one could possibly understand I discovered a community

And I found my purpose.


With deep love and gratitude,




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