Reinvent Your Life With Laughter
When was the last time you laughed so hard that you were in tears? Yesterday? Last week? You cannot remember?
For some reason being a responsible and trust-worthy adult is often associated with “getting serious” and walking around with a solemn, slightly preoccupied look on your face (like you are on the verge of resolving one of humanity’s biggest problems, but too busy to share it with the rest of the world)
If you cannot remember a time when you were not worrying about something, were not frustrated with someone or rushing somewhere, you might want to consider bringing laughter and fun back into your life and here is why:
• Laughter releases stress, decreases blood pressure, and boosts the immune system
• It enhances memory, improves learning skills and creativity
• It improves mood and helps us to look at a situation from a new perspective
• It is a great pain-free alternative to a tiresome workout! The physical effects that a good laugh has on our body are comparable with the effects of a serious work-out. And as unbelievable as it may sound, a few minutes of heart bellying laughter can burn as many calories as one hour of brisk walking!
• It strengthens relationships, lowers emotional guards and increases the feeling of intimacy and trust
• It is a perfect solution for taking the strain off a situation and defusing conflict
• It attracts other people to us and makes them want to be in our company
To put it simply, laughter is a cheap, efficient, organic, sugar and fat-free, environmentally safe solution to your work, health and relationships problems.
If you can use some more fun and humor here is what you can do to incorporate it into your daily life:
1. Smile. Vast neurological research shows that just changing your facial expression can change the direction of your thoughts and influence your mood. Whenever you smile even if it is just a polite smile, your body starts to produce feel-good hormones and your mood improves. Therefore, smile! Even if you do not feel like it, even if it is raining outside, even if you have a difficult day at work ahead of you! Smile and everything will seem better!
2. Count your blessings. Normally our mind is busy thinking about: 1) all the things that we would like to receive, but do not have at the moment or 2) worrying about losing things that we already have. This leaves us no time to enjoy and appreciate all the blessings that we have been given. Set aside 5 minutes a day to think of everything wonderful that you have in your life and add another 2 seconds to say “Thank you!”!
3. Become a cheerleader for others! The secret to attracting more fun and positivity into your life is simple. All you have to do is exude fun and positivity! It does not mean that you have to be hyper-excited or act as a clown. You can always do something that makes other people feel more inspired and more relaxed in your company. Give a reassuring smile to your colleague if they are having a bad day. Wink at your spouse and compliment them on their good looks. Tell a joke during the lunch break to make everyone laugh. Positivity is contagious! So spread it around as much as you can!
4. Live every day to the fullest! Do not wait for vacations or retirement to have a great time. Who said that Tuesday morning should be frustrating and ugly just because you have a 2-hour meeting ahead of you or because Starbucks was closed and you did not get your usual cup of coffee? You attitude is what makes your days either fun and exciting or dull and boring. So make sure that you spend every second of your life becoming greater, feeling better and laughing more freely!
5. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Do you know how some people say, “You must have the right connections” ? Well, it is true! Just not for the reasons that you think. People you ‘connect’ with have a huge impact on your perspective of the world and your mood. Therefore, make sure that you spend more time with those, who have a great sense of humor and laugh easily at themselves and others, not with chronic whiners and complainers.
6. Learn to laugh at yourself. I realize that not everything is a laughing matter. But the more you try to impress everyone by your abilities, knowledge and skills, the more people will poke fun at you! Slips, falls, accidents, absent minded moments, out of place comments, jokes that others play on you are all an inevitable part of life. And the easiest way to deal with them is to learn to laugh at yourself! Do not take yourself too seriously! It is truly an intrinsically funny experience to be a human!
7. Brighten up your wardrobe. What we wear greatly affects our mood and our behavior. How you feel wearing a black business suit will differ completely from your emotions when you wear jeans and a colorful t-shirt. If you feel too serious or worried about an upcoming presentation, wear something that puts you at ease and makes you smile, be it boxers with Mickey Mouse or a bracelet that you bought on your vacation.
8. Children and pets – the fastest mood boosters. Children and pets have an amazing ability to bring a smile to our face faster than any professional comedian. Their playfulness and excitement are endearing. Whenever you feel upset about something, play with your pet or do something that makes your kids laugh and soon you will find yourself laughing too.
9. Do something silly. When I say “silly” I mean funny silly, not stupid or annoying silly! The key is to have fun and get in touch with your inner child! Talk in a funny accent. Practice your “evil” laugh. Make a silly four-line song up. Invent your own happy dance and dance it together with your children. Volunteer to sing karaoke. Do not be afraid to look dorky. You are already acting as a serious grown-up 23 hours a day. You can allow yourself to be spontaneous and fun for an hour.
10. Surround yourself with fun! Change your wallpaper to something that brings a smile to your face. Watch a comedy or a funny TV show together with your family. Do something entertaining during the weekends: play bowls, miniature golf, Frisbee or invite friends over to play Taboo or Scrabble.
11. Read funny books and laugh out loud! For fast mood improvement and stress release – check out the books below:
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- How to be a Little Sod by Simon Brett
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
- Who Put My Life on Fast-Forward?: How to Slow Down and Start Living Again by Phil Callaway
Warning: Just make sure not to read these books late into the night – your outburst of laughter may not be appreciated by sleeping members in your household!
12. Look for humor everywhere! Humor is like beauty in that it is in the eye of the beholder. To see humor in the world and your life you have to look for it. Even stressful and embarrassing situations usually seem funny after a while. Teach yourself to see things from a different perspective… do not just look and react to them. There is a reason why God has given us sense of humor. He must have thought that some parts of life are pretty funny. All you have to do is learn to see them!
“Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.” – Tom Lehrer
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