Let 2023 be a healthy, happy and a year filled with humour.
I often wonder why people laugh with Lindy when she does her motivational speaking. Although she is not a comedian, yet people enjoy her story and laugh with her.
So I began the New Year with my own research on the benefit of humour and laughter. Read on for Guide Dog Comet’s perspective on laughter and humour.
My evening routine generally consists of dinner, watching the news with Lindy and Aunty Polly, and then make my way to bed a bit after 8pm.
On New Year’s Eve, I managed to stay awake until after 9pm.
Lindy had a few quiet drinks with close family and friends to celebrate the New Year. At the stroke of 9pm in Canberra, Samoa turned 2023 so we celebrated the New Year then.
This is a very civilised way to celebrate New Year so that we can go to bed at a reasonable time and begin 2023 bright and refreshed.
Significant events in 2022
We began the year with Australia Day Ambassador duty at Forbes, then welcomed in the Year of the Tiger with family. I took Lindy to audio description at various art shows and theatre throughout the year. I enjoyed music concerts at Canberra Theatre, ANU and the National Museum. Apart from cycle trips to Wagga and Bowral, I also enjoyed a relaxed weekend with my friend in Dubbo while Lindy ran around Dubbo zoo.
The two trips that stood out for me were the Sensory Tourism Conference, where I attended with 14 other guide dogs, and attending the Paralympic Australia Alumni Round Table and Award evening. As I wasn’t able to make any contribution among all the enthusiastic Paralympians, I went for a walk with Aunty Polly to check out Darling Harbour.
I assisted Lindy with accessibility consultations at various institutions including as an Access Advisory Group member of the Australian War Memorial Gallery Development team. The Access Advisory Group’s role is to look at the design of the Gallery development to ensure upon completion that all visitors will be able to access all gallery space. This includes physical and sensory access throughout all public space.
The group consists of advisors with various disabilities. Apart from the personal lived experiences of their own challenges, the group members also have great understanding of the challenges that other people encounter thus ensuring comprehensive feedback is given to the development team.
For the last 16 months, Lindy has been a member of the mentoring team with the Canberra Blind Society on a project for “Empowering, Employing and Supporting People with Vision Impairment”. The success of this project has enabled Lindy and the team to continue their work with more organisations. One day, we will have a more inclusive community.
Year of the Rabbit
I can’t wait for the feast when the family gets together for the Chinese New Year. There is always lots of food at these gatherings. As a helpful Labrador I don’t mind cleaning up food that little ones spilled.
For Australia Day, I will take Lindy to celebrations at Narrandera Shire Council. I will tell you all about the day in the next issue.
I look forward to trips with Cocky Guides later in the year and to the Duathlon at the Townsville Multi-sports Festival in August.
Here is my research on Health Benefits of Humour and Laughter
Laughter is more than a diversion to challenges that we have to face in our everyday life. It actually has a health benefit. When we laugh, we tickle our funny bone. Clinical evidence shows that laughter enhances our physical, psychological, and social well-being.
Physical benefits of laughter include improving heart health, boosting pain tolerance, boosting immunity, and improving sleep.
Psychological benefits of laughter and humour include reducing stress, boosting memory, and improving social relationships.
I noticed that when Lindy told her story, the audience laughed and saw the funny side of human behaviour. Like the story she told when we were waiting near a set of traffic lights for a friend. A stranger grabbed her arm and said, “the light is green and we can cross”. Lindy had to use her martial arts skill to break the hold and tell the stranger that “I am waiting for a friend right here and don’t need to cross the road.” Through the laughter the audience got the message that “one should ask if a person needs help rather than go ahead and provide ‘unneeded’ help”.
From my Doggie observation, I think positive messages delivered with humour get through to the audience better than any Power Point presentation.
“Laughter is the best medicine”
This is the tail of Lindy’s Comet