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Welcome to Dr. William G. DeFoore's Monthly E-Newsletter  W.G. DeFoore, Ph.D. November 2009 Vol 3 Issue 11   

Having Fun Is A Serious Matter!

Have a good time! That could be the wisest advice anyone ever gave you. What? Sounds frivolous? It's only frivolous if being intelligent, creative, healthy and compassionate are frivolous. It's true...when you're having a good time, your body's more relaxed, allowing more oxygen to flow to your brain, adding to your intelligence and memory functions. It's been shown consistently that when you're having fun you are kinder, more inclusive, and more likely to "play well with others." Patch Adams, Bernie Siegel and many others have shown us that having fun improves immune function and enhances our healing capacity.

Watch this video to see how having fun increases the likelihood of getting exercise--and I can say for sure that you will be more likely to exercise if you're having fun while doing it! Another video by the same folks shows how we're more likely to "do the right thing" if it's fun to do it.

Want to know the best way to have a good time no matter what's going on? Just practice the art of appreciation, focusing your mind on whatever is good, right and working about you and the people, systems and mechanisms around you.

Nonsense Sharpens Your Mind!


I know, that sounds like a lot of nonsense. Well, this article in the New York Times tells us that in response to to nonsense, our brain quickly goes looking for meaning and coherence elsewhere--which is excellent mental exercise! This is one of the reasons that jokes are good for you. What makes a joke funny is the seeming nonsense in the "punch line" that makes your mind go on search for the hidden meaning so that you "get it."

I have long been a believer in the value of goofy, corny humor--and now I have scientific backup! If you let yourself become too cool or sophisticated for goofiness, you're missing out on a lot of laughter and good brain exercise.

Joke: "What did the physician say to the meta-physician?" (Feel that good brain exercise?) Answer: "What's the meta for?" Get it? You just got smarter, and if you smiled or chuckled, you did your heart a favor too.

  More Good Brain Exercise


Goodfinding is good brain exercise. You've probably noticed that you don't have to work very hard or be very creative to find something to worry about or get frustrated by. Fortunately, the process of finding good stuff to make you laugh, love and learn is not so easy and therefore exercises the old noodle quite well. Also, you may have heard that the best possible brain exercise of all is to learn to play a musical instrument. Hmmm...does that mean that six musicians playing ukuleles and simultaneously singing five different songs might be a good mental workout? Watch the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain as they do just that!

If you just watched that video, you got some good mental fitness just by listening. Now, try it again and this time try to hear all five of the songs at the same time. And, just for some good old fun, watch them perform "Shaft" and this performance-art version of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." It's very clear that those folks are having a blast!

As a bonus, check out this article in Greater Good Magazine about how to keep your brain young as you enjoy getting older. It tells us that exercise, socializing and all kinds of brain stimulation are the keys to a young brain in "children of all ages."


  What We Can Learn From Savants


 A savant is someone who has one or more areas of expertise, ability or brilliance that stand in contrast to their other limitations. Watch this video of Stephen Wiltshire, an autistic man who, after one helicopter ride over the city, drew a highly accurate picture of London, England. Another familiar example of a savant is the character played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie "Rainman." Here's a clip from that film that shows a little of how his mind works.

So, here's a possibility to consider. Savants are generally autistic individuals who have very limited capacity in most of the areas you and I take for granted. That gives them the extra "mental energy" to be highly specialized in the areas of their brilliance. Now, is it possible that each of us is actually that brilliant, but just more broadly focused? That's something to think about, after watching the above videos. Consider that you are that amazingly brilliant, in your own unique, individualized way. The more you believe in your mind, the better it will work for you.

 Quotes from Great Goodfinders


"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

--Anais Nin

"The bluebird carries the sky on his back."

--Henry David Thoreau

"The best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun."
--Shania Twain

"To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle."
--Walt Whitman

"Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination."




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William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Cindy P. DeFoore
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