The other day my daughter's boyfriend sent me a funny video clip, something he loves to do. Because I was frazzled due to a deadline, I almost didn't open it. But I did and it changed my day. The clip made me laugh out loud. Laughing changed my attitude. My day didn't seem so difficult anymore.
Laughter is a wonderful activity. With children, it seems to come naturally. It's not so easy with adults. At some point, we get cautious about our laughter. After all, we are ADULTS and life is something to take SERIOUSLY. Laughter stops coming as readily as it did when we were kids. Yet, laughter is essential and it needs to be a regular part of our lives.
Why? Because laughter has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system and, in general, make a person feel good. As a preventive technique, it's also extremely easy to use. In addition, laughter is as contagious as a yawn. This means if you share it, you're just spreading the BENEFITS of laughter.
What can YOU do to increase your own laughter quotient?
First figure what you find funny. Do you like cartoons, jokes, funny video clips or something entirely different? Knowing what tickles your particular funny bone will help you create more opportunities for laughing.
Next, find ways to expose yourself to the things that make you laugh. Think of it as creating your own "daily dose of laughter". Here are some activities that can help you add laughter into your daily ritual:
1) Keep a favorite funny picture, cartoon or video clip on your computer's desktop and look at it during your day. As I love cats, my favorite video shows cats doing silly things. It always makes me laugh.
2) If you watch TV, consider watching a cartoon show. It is fun and something you can do with your kids. Also, consider watching more comic movies or TV shows. For example, I learned the value of this when I watched the Ice Age animated movies and fell in love with a demented squirrel!
3) Set up a "laugh a lot" group among your friends. Exchange jokes or other humorous things. It helps if you share the same type of humor or the group agrees to what is considered to be appropriate humor.
4) Find humorous websites that you can visit. There are sites for everyone's type of humor. For example, here's a site that gives you a variety of choices to increase your laughter: http://www.bestsearchers.com/best-websites/humor-jokes.html
5) Try something really different. For example, join a Laughter Club. These free clubs invite people to come together and practice laughing. They do this because there is evidence that laughing out loud is beneficial to a person's health and well being. For more information on Laughter Clubs, visit: http://www.laughteryoga.org.
You can add other activities to this list that will strengthen your funny bone. The main idea is to make laughter a part of your daily life.
Think about it. What would happen if laughter was just as important as brushing your teeth, eating, and exercising daily? These are things we do to keep ourselves healthy. Why not use laughter for the same reason? It can be the best preventive medicine you take!