GO AHEAD AND LAUGH!!
"I'm thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose!" Woody Allen
"People who stop laughing are always the ones who get hurt." Josh Sundquist
"You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing." Michael Pritchard
Laughter can set off a number of psychological and physical effects. By putting more humor in our lives, we can reduce stress, dissolve anger, boost our immune system, elevate mood, protect our heart, and improve our social, intimate, and work relationships. Telling a joke or laughing with others about life unites us and increases our much needed “sense of belonging”. The effects of humor stay with us, shifting the way we think and creating a more relaxed feeling.
It has been found that pre-school age children laugh about 300 times per day compared to adults, who laugh an average of 17 times per day. That's a wake up call!! In order to use humor as a life-enhancer, it is important to learn how to put ourselves in a more playful state of mind. This includes giving ourselves permission to do something we did very easily at the age of three.
How can we lighten up so that we may experience the healing power of laughter?
- Remind yourself to have fun – It’s OK to be silly once in a while. Really, it's OK. (Forget about what other people may think. Actually, they may just need the nudge to be silly, too!!)
- Figure out what makes you laugh – Then go out and look for those things.
- Start a humor library – Clip funny cartoons, jokes, calendars, audio or videotapes. Post humorous cartoons where you know they will trigger a good laugh. Watch comedy on TV. Add a funny CD to your daily commute. Write down jokes that make you laugh.
- Laugh with others – Spend time with others who help you see the brighter side of life. You will know who they are.
- Increase your exposure to comedy - Rent or go to a funny movie Watch funny sitcoms or read jokebooks. Do this on purpose!
- Laugh at yourself – Try thinking of an embarrassing story about yourself and share it.
- Take a 5 to 10 minute humor break everyday – Read jokes or listen to someone or something funny.
Rember that laughter, or just placing a smile on your face, will go a long way to helping you feel better about life!