Category Archives: scientificisch

Why laughing is good for you; mini lecture laughing and smiling

Smiling and laughing part 1

Last week I had not much to smile about, so today, let’s talk about something possitive like laughing and smiling.
There’s so much to say about simple laughing and smiling, I don’t know where to start.

I want to be surrounded by people who feel good and happy, it gives me energy and a positive feeling.
But ‘How do I know people are happy?’, -> ‘Because they smile or look content’. At least that is how I think how people show that they are happy/content and enjoy themselves, that they’ ve fun.

Technically smiling is pulling a face; ‘A tensioning of the muscles around the corners of the mouth, the mouth ends curl up ang sometimes opens.
You can define a lot of different laughs; a smile, a grinn, a giggle, a chuckle, a snicker, howl of laughter.
These different laughs can be categorized in two sorts of laughter;
– The burst out-, loud-, spontaneous-, belly laugh, a laugh from the heart,
– And the social laugh.

Today I’ll focus on the physical part of laughing.
Spontaneous laughter is the same for everybody in the world. The reasons for this laughter are not so obvious (but that’s for later, otherwise I should write a book and not a short blog).

Babies laugh before they can talk and children laugh more times a day then adults do.

A good laugh is very healthy, specially the deep, spontaeous, ‘belly laugh’; It changes the breathing pattern and the intake of oxygen for a while. 
During laughing you’ll enter more oxygen and exit more carbon dioxide from the lungs.

You can try it yourself; Feel how you work your longs and belly breathing when you say 10 times HA, HA. If you try to bring hte bresthing in more towards the chest, it becomes more a HI HI.

Laughing stimulates multiple functions in your body, like; Heart rate and Blood pressure.

Laughing reduces stress and pain (with all it’s negative effects) because the production of the Feel Good hormon endoformine and reduces the stess hormon cortisol.
In English people say that a laugh or smile enlightens your face, but it also enlightens your brain (pre frontal cortex in front of your brain) because of the endoformine.
When you see something beautiful, -funny, or something good happens or you enjoy a situation you will smile which will produces endoformin which makes you feel good. But the other way around it works too, when you smile -even if you’re not happy- you’re body will produce endormine and it will make you feel good, relaxes or enlightens your spirit.

Put a pencil horizontal in your mouth and be aware what happens with your face and brain

It might not change the mood you’re in but at least a bit how you feel about it.

Last but not least in this mini lecture about laughing.
People who are relaxed process information (=learn) easier.
And very important, you can’t be relaxed and angry at the same time.

KEEP ON SMILING IFGAblogperson.jpg

To be continued


Culture differences and greetings

There are visible and non visible culture differences; The visible culture differences are how people live (apartments, high-rise, huts, villas, terraced houses? in cities or villages), how they dress (warm, cold, covering, showing); What/who they love and celebrate (the heroes, the festivals, the food, the music, the books) and how they behave (greetings, managing time and the people around). 
Most of this differences you can get used to, in time, because it’s mostly behaviour; it’s about the way people show their culture and use their environment. 
You might prefer another behaviour but you will get used to it.

At the moment I live in Qatar, a small desert nation. The boys learn to ride a car in the desert. They can drive a car alright, but driving in traffic is something completely different. I would prefer if they would stick to traffic rules it would make my life much less dangerous but I got used to it and on the other side….. Not all the rules are very convenient at times and I must say I like those wild desert rides too.

A very important aspect of the visible culture differences is behaviour; the way people react on certain situations. 
A reaction is often based on believes, it’s about expectations, it’s about assumptions, it’s about values, it’s about thoughts, it’s about feelings and emotions. And those are not visible but very important for behaviour, certainly in relation to cultures and it’s differences and how people deal with them.
People want to know (conscious and unconscious) what the right way is to react according to the judgement of the social group they (want to) belong to, so they don’t become an ‘outlaw’ or be alone. 
It can be quite scary and uncomfortable when you don’t know how to react in certain situations.

I do live a very international live and I’ve got friends from all over the world and every time I meet some of them I have to think. “Just shaking hands? hug? 1,2 or 3 kisses? on the cheek? (one cheek or two, where do you start your first kiss???) bow? or just a shoulder pat?

Knowing about these different ways of greetings helps to understand and accept how people say hello.

When my old Japanese neighbour bows deep, it’s for her to show her respect, she doesn’t want to be cold or distant while I rather want to hug her after 3 years but that would be very uncomfortable for her. 

It helps a lot to know that I felt obstructed while her attentions would be that I feel respected. I can accept her ways and adapt mine, so we both feel good.

And in the end when I leave she will still got that hug, just because I know she can handle our differences too.IFGAblogperson


Scientificisch is not an existing word. I made it up. 
Let me explain, this is a personal story;

One of my children was struggling in school a lot, which was strange because he was absolutely an intelligent boy. Bit by bit, year by year, we learned that he was a very visual thinker. Which is hard in an educational system based on reading; For him books are a lot of letters combined, which don’t make any sense to him. When he couldn’t picture the information, he was lost and could not concentrate. He felt stupid.

One day, we were talking about the Trees family (family name in this case) from number 10, his brain send him to trees -> forrests -> Alaska -> bears -> hunters -> death bears. Suddenly we had a very angry boy and we’re all completely lost, because we couldn’t picture what he visualised.

We were lucky he had teachers who allowed him to use audio books combined with a real book. From that moment the words he heard and read were making sense he could picture it and he was hooked. Because of the experience with all the words and language he also started reading normal, without audio and is doing pretty well now.

A visual learning will learn the concept of what’s being read or taught, They will think and learn much faster, because pictures contain much more information in an eyesight than words and definitions can ever do; A one second look at a picture gives you more information then words can ever do.

I struggled all the way through high school and I only made it because there were teachers who believed in me. 
Economics was my biggest frustration, I understood the principles and definitions very well, but when we had tests and we had to solve a problem I solved the problem by using and mixing all the definitions, and not by repeating the definitions. I like to think that when the economists used my tests, we would not have the economic crisis today.
 Anyway I didn’t make it to university because I didn’t fit in the teaching and testing methods. It’s very frustrating to have to work below your abilities. I educated my self in all different cultural and human topics in different cultures and education systems. 
Together, in the process with my son, I realised that I wasn’t stupid or dumb either and that the combination of all my gathered knowledge en experiences are worth to tell.
The things I write or tell in this blog are not scientific because I can’t recall how I got that theory/information or ideas because I visualised, mixed and matched all different, theories, experiences and information and formed my own theory. 
I call it


Liking, sharing, following is been apreciated for a real international scope.


Cultural Adjustments

In the Netherlands, when it’s warm and not raining, we go outside! We sit in our gardens, on our balconies, in parks or at café’s with outdoor terraces. We’re programmed like that. So when we moved to Japan, we made our selves comfortable in our little garden; Brought out some chairs (we couldn’t find outdoor furniture to buy) and a light; We were eaten alive by mosquito’s, so we bought a mosquito-tent to sit in. Yes it got hot, but “hey it’s summer and no rain!”! It took us a few weeks before we understood why we were the only ones sitting outside, it was too hot, too humid, too many mosquitoes and inside it was very comfortable with airco, lights and no bugs. “They were not that stupid in Japan.”
Japanese people are very polite people, we’ve never seen them laughing at us, but they must have had the laugh of their lives “those weird foreigners”.

It was the first time I experienced that people have unconscious behaviour and believes. Things they grow up with and are being considered as normal, without even thinking about why they are doing it. It’s their culture, their identity.
Usually those behaviour patterns are logical and do make sense for the people in that particular environment in different parts of the world; In Asia, you avoid situations being stung by mosquito’s who might spread diseases; In the Northern Europe you go outside when the weather allows it, to get vitamin D from the sun for energy; In the Middle-Easts sandy conditions you wear scarfs and face/mouth protection against the sand and sunburn.

Most of social behaviour is historically grown and accepted, as it makes sense.

A burkini actually makes sense in the Middle East; not only to protect women from dribbling men but also sunburn. But so does exposing your skin to the sun in Europe when and how much that’s possible, to get as much energy/vitamin D for the long and dark winter ahead. And those dribbling men? I guess in Europe most women know they’re strong enough not to be afraid of men and men are raised that women are more than sex.

All those habits, customs, rituals, – religious or not – do make sense in the part of the world they’re developed. Outside that region they should be reconsidered.

For me; how gorgeous the weather might be – compared to depression filled Dutch
winters – I will stay inside to avoid the mosquito’s and in the Middle East I cover-up, just because it makes to protect my lung. It just make sense in a social-historical way.


mistakes, bloopers and shame

One of my best birthdays was on a boring night, I didn’t have the money for a real party but it was a good reason to come together with some friends. At a certain moment we came to talk about our mistakes, bloopers, blunders and situations which were embarrassing and humiliating. It was hilarious, it was almost a competition in who’d made the biggest blooper. Besides the tremendous laughing it was healing; “These people loved me despite my mistakes, NO, these people loved me because of my mistakes”.

Afterwards I can even say that it helped me, it helped me to put my mistakes and embarrassing feelings into words. Because of the words I could analyse what went wrong and why and how I could avoid it or solve it.

But please do help me think. What is a mistake or an error? -I’ve tried definitions in a couple different languages, the best one was –The outcome of a situation which deviate from the expected/ desirable outcome.-
A Blooper is more serious according to the dictionaries; A blooper is a mistake with consequences for the concerning partie(s).
In both definitions the consequences or outcome are subjective; except for some scientific truths, like the world is round and 1+1=2, the outcome is depending on what people expect.

Anyway, a mistake or a blooper can make you feel ashamed, loss of pride or – face. In some cultures it even involves the whole family, clan or nation when a person makes a mistake.
Shame is an emotion, fear for the judgement of failing yours – or others expectations and fear for being unaccepted or even expelled. Guilt is also a judgement but that is much more legal. Shame is very subjective/ depending on the opinion of other people, so it depends on expectations of the person or the group he/she belongs to, that’s why shame is very much a cultural phenomenon.

That night, my friends didn’t have expectations and that’s probably why it was okay and even so much fun; I felt so happy and relaxed.
The best thing I’d learn, was that I’m not a mistake but I make mistakes, and that everybody makes mistakes and we learn from them by falling and getting up again and it’s very nice to have a hand to help you up instead of yelling how stupid it is to fall.IFGAblogperson


When we talk we share knowledge
when we listen we learn

For me, going out for diner is a cultural event. I love to see the connection between people on other tables; the different conversations in groups, the focussed conversations between business men, the non conversations between couples, or -like last night the twittering conversation between a group of women. (Twitter is a real good name for that medium) the ladies just talked, almost all at the same time and didn’t seem to expect an answer. To me it looked like nobody was listening to what the other said.
It triggered me and I realised that there’s a difference between hearing and listening; Hearing is the physical part of listening, listening is the psychological part or the part where the brain comes in.

I looked up some facts for you;

– Only a quarter from what you hear will be heard.
– By listening you show interest in a person; you show interest/respect in the words someone says and the thoughts (s)he has.
– Listening is part of communication; only when there is a speaker AND a listener you can have a conversation and a connection between two people.
– You can listen to -4X  more- words then speak, which means that there is space in your head for other thoughts, like how to react.  As soon as you’re thinking about how to react you get busy; remembering how to react and waiting for the time you can put in your reacting. You’ll be so busy, you forget to listen to the rest of what’s being said.
– In some languages listening is another word of obeying, like when parents say to the children “you’re not listening to me” they actual mean you’re not obeying me.
– Most people seem to like talking specially about themselves much more than listening.

It’s hard for me to believe that those ladies last night had a conversation, yet there must be a form of communication and sharing some information. Sometimes it has to do with the language, in some languages the most import information of a sentence is given in the beginning of the sentence, so you can start thinking without really missing any information. I think I would like that too. On the other hand, people will never get heard or have the feeling of being listened to and – valued.

Now, knowing how hard it is to listen, even in your own language and in your own culture. I realise how much miscommunication must occur when having a conversation with someone in another language and culture.

I like to challenge you to really listen to somebody else; repeat after your partner has finished speaking what (s)he said. and then focus on the answer you like to give.
I would love to hear your experiences.



It’s the philosophie of the International FeelGood Academy, that people who feel good,- save, – happy will be able look in a more positive way into the world, and will accept the differences and will be able to live with each other in peace on this beautiful planet.
This is a well accepted way of thinking in western society; Business, politicians and scientist put a lot of energy/money/research in the knowledge of positive psychology, and happiness, so they can use this knowledge to control people. Scientists are trying to find ways to make happiness measurable and statisticable (this is not a real word but I guess everybody can understand that I mean something as putting happiness down in numbers). I think that scientists are loosing happiness into statistics and completely forget that it’s all about feeling good;

Happiness is a very subjective matter, as happiness is a feeling/an emotion and things/situations that make people feel happy are different for every person and the culture they’ve been brought up in. Actually happiness shows differences between people very clearly.
I feel wonderful when the sun is shining and it’s hot but for somebody else it might be the complete opposite as they might need some rain or clouds to cover from the heat or to protect their crops and again somebody else is afraid of rain because it means floods and landslides.
There are even cultures in which it is not done to show your emotions of happiness because it makes you stand out of the group or make somebody else feel aware that they’re not so happy.

As happiness is an emotion it is not possible to be continuously happy in all situations, people can have an overall feeling of satisfaction or good feeling.
That’s why we talk about the
feelgood academy rather than the happiness academy. We like to share the things that make us people feel good and hope it’s an inspiration for others to open up too.