The Gift of Laughter
As we close out 2014 and begin 2015, I invite you to think about how much laughter you experienced in your life this year. Did you experience a lot of laughter, or just a little? Did you seek out fun and laughable moments, or did you just leave it to chance?
Laughter is the “forgotten medicine”. Our lives are often so busy and our to-do lists so long that we leave very little time for laughter, if at all.
Action Challenge: Take some time to make a list of what made you laugh this year. Write down who made you laugh. Describe how the funny and laughable moments made you feel. Then, identify ways you can deliberately incorporate more laughter in your life in the coming year.
Even with our busy lives, it is so beneficial to set daily intentions to laugh out loud and make others laugh out loud. I encourage you to make it a habit to include laughter on a regular and consistent basis in 2015. Here are some of the benefits.
Benefits of Laughter for Your Body
* Feels good – releases serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone
* Exercises your heart and lungs
* Relaxes muscle tension – possibly leading to less pain
* Massages your inner organs and oxygenates cell tissues
* Boost the immune system
* Rests the brain – a mini-vacation for your mind
* Busts through stress – reduces stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline
* Natural anti-aging
* Burns calories
Laughter promotes overall health and well-being. It is our natural state of being. (Kids love to laugh.)
Benefits of Laughter for Your Mind
* Inspires creativity
* Increases attention span
* Reduces mistakes
* Helps you absorb information
Professional speakers have learned, or have been taught to interject humor in their presentations as a “reset button” about every 10 minutes in order to increase attention span and help their listeners absorb the information.
Benefits of Laughter for Your Emotions
* Opens the gates for joy to flood in
* Helps you connect to others
* Perfect for rapport building
* Negative thoughts cease to exist
* Helps you to not take life so seriously
* Contagious – we laugh longer and louder in a crowd (watch the video below)
* Acts as a pressure relief valve – helps process grief and other repressed, or suppressed emotions (Have you ever laugh uncontrollably at a funeral?)
Laughter is sunshine for the soul. It opens your heart and frees your spirit. And, best of all it is free and easy to share.
* Hang out with children
* Hang out with pets
* Hang out with fun friends
* Get out old pictures
* Watch funny movies
* Search youtube videos
* Set an intention every morning to laugh out loud and make others laugh out loud that day
Interesting tip: When you don’t feel like laughing, hold a pencil or pen between your teeth and see how long it takes before you feel your mood shifting. This action naturally activates the muscles used for smiling and can be a mood enhancer. Try this out and post a comment.
Remember to…Laugh Loud, Laugh Long, Laugh Often and Laugh with Friends.