Ways of Embracing Laughter
Bringing more humour and laughter into your life
Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.
Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humour and laughter, as you might with working out, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humour and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything you do.
Here are some ways to start:
- Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
- Make a list of your blessings. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humour and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humour and laughter.
- Move toward laughter. Sometimes humour and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humour you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
- Surround yourself with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humour in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
- Initiate talk about humour. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”
Other tips for embracing laughter:
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- When you find yourself with a challenge ask yourself:
- Is it really worth getting upset over?
- Is it worth upsetting others?
- Is it that important?
- Is it that bad?
- Is the situation irreparable?
- Is it really your problem?
- Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.
- Attempt to laugh at situations rather than whinge about them. Look for the humour in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. This will help improve your mood and the mood of those around you.
- Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.
- Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond your control—particularly the behaviour of other people. While you might think taking the weight of the world on your shoulders is admirable, in the long run it’s unrealistic, unproductive, unhealthy, and even egotistical.
- Deal with your stress. Stress is a major impediment to humour and laughter.
- Pay attention to children and copy them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.
- See life’s challenges as an opportunity for creative learning.
- Watch a good comedy with friends: In cinema, television, theatre. The selection of a good comedy can introduce frequent and more laughter in our lives. Laughing is contagious so watching a good comedy when we are with friends, is more enjoyable and creates happy memories. Watch a funny movie or TV show.
- Go to a comedy club.
- Read the funny pages.
- Seek out funny people.
- Share a good joke or a funny story.
- Check out your bookstore’s humour section.
- Host game night with friends.
- Play with a pet.
- Go to a “laughter yoga” class.
- Goof around with children.
- Do something silly.
- Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
- Approach life from a different angle: The way we deal with everyday problems and ups and downs of life, can be crucial in psychological and physical health. Instead of complaining, it is much better to see things from another angle, with another lens and try to see the humorous side of things.
- Try to laugh even when there is no real reason: Studies have shown that even when there is no real reason to laugh, the attempt to laugh alone creates positive results. Indeed there are specialists who recommend people to try a fake smile or fake laugh because this can lead to real laughter, with important benefits for their health.
It is a proven, reliable and sustainable well-being solution that offers a valid approach to key elements of peak performance such as stress release, improved communication, cooperation and team-bonding, innovation and creativity, and a positive work environment.