You’ve undoubtedly heard the old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Turns out, it’s true – well sort of. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being that reduces the negative effects of stress. In other words, laughter makes you feel good.
Additionally, the good feeling that you get when you laugh remains with you even after the laughter subsides. As such, laughter helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook in difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. And this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
Here are a few suggestions to add humor and laughter to your life:
- Subscribe to a humor website and read a joke each day.
- Read the funny pages.
- Watch a romantic comedy.
- Talk often to someone you find funny.
- Share a joke with someone.
- Purchase or borrow a joke book from a library.
- Host a game night with friends. You may find that just organizing a game is funnier than the game itself.
- Can’t meet friends in person? Host a video call game night with friends. Some video conferencing apps like Houseparty have fun games built in that everyone can play together.
- Do something silly.
- Spend some time having fun with a child.
Here are some ways to start:
- Experts in “laugh therapy” show that it’s possible to laugh without experiencing a funny event. You can prove this to yourself by just standing and laughing for 15 seconds.
- Count your blessings. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter. Counting your blessings is a key to happiness. The more grateful you are, the happier you will be.
- Spend some time with playful people—either in person or online. People who laugh easily find humor in everyday events. Their humorous point of view and laughter are contagious.
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that you heard or that happened to you today?” “This week?” “In your life?”
Some events are clearly sad and do not warrant laughter, but most events in life don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary living with the choice to laugh or not.
Tip: Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a humorous toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster. Choose a computer screensaver that brings a smile. Have a picture nearby that brings back a fond memory. Do whatever you must to bring more laughter into your day.
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