Laughing is underrated, if you ask me. It’s a simple thing that does so much good. As Dau Voire rightly says, laughter is the best therapy – it has the power to heal both the body and the mind. It connects people. What’s more, it costs nothing and is easy to do – if you know how to.
Why is laughing good for you?
HelpGuide points out how laughter benefits us in so many ways – some I never even knew. Here’s a few of them:
- Boosts immune system
- Improves heart health
- Relaxes and reenergises the body
- Relieves stress
- Makes you look younger
- Improves relationships
With laughing offering so many benefits, we should just be laughing all the time! Which had me thinking…what we can do to laugh more?
How to laugh more
- Act like a child
You’ve heard me say it before, there’s so much to learn from babies. They are ingenious little things. And how easily and naturally they laugh! If we can find our inner child and bring it back to life, we’ll have no trouble laughing. It’s fascinating how children giggle at the simplest of things – birds, wind, trains, a funny sound, silly face…anything really. I love playing with my toddler after work. It always brings a smile to my face even when it’s been a tough day – just watching his eyes light up, lips crack into a smile and the sound of his infectious giggles. Anytime you need a laugh, play with a child, even if it’s your own inner child!
- Don’t be too serious
Is it a good thing to not take life too seriously sometimes? I think it is. There are times when it really is best to laugh things away. Life is challenging. We have to deal with difficult situations and people all the time and it’s out of our control. What we can do is to look for irony or humour in those situations – because it’s always there. I’m someone who typically takes things pretty lightly. If I slip and fall flat on my face in a puddle of mud, chances are I’ll be laughing at myself a few minutes later. Because if you stop, take a step back and look at the situation from a different angle, you’ll be able to have a laugh about it. I’m not saying go laugh hysterically at a funeral or when someone is in hospital. But even in those situations, it helps to not be overly serious. Because when things are really dreary is when we could all use a laugh the most.
- Listen to happy music
Here’s the thing about music – it makes us feel things. Don’t you think? I love Adele – she’s an amazing artist and her voice is magic. But you can’t really listen to her Someone Like You and not feel heartbroken and sad. On the flip side, Pharrell William’s Happy is guaranteed to have you singing along, dancing silly and laughing! (Same with Christmas music – not long now and I cannot wait!) Music – whatever type that might fit your beat – can lift your mood and bring on a laugh.
- Spend time with people who love to laugh
“People who laugh together, stay together”. I just made that up, but it is quite true – with any type of relationship as well, not just romantic ones. Most of my closest friends are optimists who have great senses of humour. In fact, it might almost be a prerequisite I unconsciously look for when making friends! Spending time with people who are always laughing will help you let loose and have a laugh yourself because laughter tends to be infectious – in a good way. Next time you need a laugh, catch up with that friend who always gets you laughing – you’ll leave the catch-up feeling great and with a smile on your face.
- Smile and repeat
Which brings me to the next point – smiling. More often than not, smiling is a precursor to a laugh. If you’ve got a smile on your face, it’s not going to take a lot to turn it into a laugh. What’s great is, smiling is easy to do and it makes you feel good. Smile at the little things – a bright sunny day, refreshing walk or delicious cup of coffee (you know I love my coffee). The more you can smile, the more likely it’ll lead to laughter. I’m a smiler. I have even come out of surgery with a smile on my face – to the surprise of my doctors. It wasn’t because there was no pain, but because I find that smiling helps me cope better.
There are two kinds of people in life. Those who are always looking for a laugh and those who won’t give in even if a laugh came right at them.
Are you someone who loves to laugh? What makes you laugh?
© Jan Perera 2020. All rights reserved.