I am still smiling from this past Friday night. Often by the time Friday comes around, and my last client has left my office to enter his or her world with a fresh perspective to consider, I feel heart full and ready to reboot with Joe. Many times we head for the movie theater to catch a great new release, and follow with some consternations and stimulations about life, love, and the state of the world. I love my Friday nights with Joe.
This past Friday, we branched out and spontaneously invited some friends over for dinner and a game of charades. Five of us made an amazingly delicious dinner together. Food is a love language, and when a group of friends start cooking and sharing a nice bottle of wine, the results are delicious. I'm still smiling from the giggles that went on until the wee hours of the morning over charades. All you need for that is some paper cut up into slips, a few pens, and imagination. It's so good to laugh. At one point, one of our guests was acting out the movie Crazy Stupid Love, and with his difficulty on 'stupid love,' we have never laughed so hard.
When you laugh, you release two hormones: beta-endorphins, which counter stress and boost human growth hormone (HGH), which boosts your immune system. Laughter is also shown to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and epinephrine (adrenaline). Even anticipating a fun event like a night with your friends can cause this "Biology of Hope" (www.the-aps.org). The great thing about Friday night was making it a spontaneous invitation; there was absolutely no pressure to have the perfectly clean house, the just right set table, or a gourmet meal. Food just tastes better when it's made in the company of dear friends! The perfect recipe may be friendship.
Enjoy your Sunday, and if you're looking for things to reboot you before your next work week, here are Five Ways To Make Next Weekend Count:
- Play a game this weekend. If you're looking for a more structured way of playing charades, there's a great app you can upload to your smart phone called "Heads Up."
- Engage in a group exercise routine. When you elevate your heart rate, your brain chemistry is boosted. Thoughts are more easily shared, and you'll find your connections to others go up. People who sweat together connect together.
- Get outside the box. Do something novel. Changing up your routine is one of the best ways to stimulate your brain.
- Call someone you haven't talked to recently. When you connect with your friends and family, you're reminded of common interests, events, and life over time.
- Do a kind deed. There is so much research into the health benefits to you and others when you pay it forward.
I'm already imagining how I can step it up next weekend. How about you?
More on Self Love from YourTango: