Laughter is the quickest and easiest way to reduce your stress levels, release happy molecules (for real, when we laugh we release dopamine which makes us feel good) and make those around us feel better too.
A good laugh can relieve pain, help with your breathing and is actually scientifically proven to help us live longer.
Read on to learn how you can lighten up and laugh a little harder and more often to improve your quality of life:
1) Learn from your littlest experts – Watch your young nieces and nephews, grandchildren or maybe even your own kids at play! Little and simple things trigger their laughter. Whether it is a funny sound, stepping in a puddle and splashing water everywhere, or getting ketchup all over their cheeks during snack time, they laugh. Could we be better about finding humor in the simple things in life? Ask yourself this, and then allow yourself to loosen up a bit and enjoy the quirks of daily life.
2) Keep your friends, funny! – Jokes are not required. In fact, it is often more beneficial to be social and around people with positive attitudes who can laugh at themselves, and who avoid “sweating the small stuff.” Frequent doses of being around “positive people” help to provide us with a different perspective, and help to rejuvenate our own outlook.
3) Indulge in some comedy – In his book “Anatomy of an Illness,” Dr. Norman Cousins was able to ease his pain (as well as many others’) through laughter therapy. The longer his mind was in a happy mood through humor and laughter, the less pain medication he needed and the longer his pain relief was achieved.
4) Lighten the load – So many of us try to be perfect by trying to please too many people. But the harder we try, the less we smile while putting too much stress on ourselves. Try to learn from the best. Recently my neighbor’s son put his shoes on by himself for the first time. He was so proud he didn’t notice they were on the wrong foot. His mom just laughed and complimented him. He tried, and that was the most important part.
5) Look for humor – sometimes you’ve “just gotta laugh.” One of the doctors baked a pie for a 90-year-old patient. It was just about done and she heard a “pop” from the oven. Sure enough, her home baked apple pie crust cratered, creating an upside down apple pie. Instead of getting upset, she smiled and brought this “unique” pie to her patient. The patient, Betty, looked at the pie, laughed out loud and said she bakes pies the same way. The sound of Betty’s laugh and that story is one that doctor still shares with others.
6) Smile – Have you ever see someone enter a room with a big smile on their face? I know I have and I always remember what a great impression it makes. Sometimes, even if we don’t feel like it, just putting your smile in gear lightens the load for others whom you see and in-turn, reflects those good feelings right back at you.
Use these six small tips to improve your chances for a better belly laugh and remember – smile on!