How many times do you laugh – really laugh – on an average day?
This is something we did so easily and naturally as children, but as we grew older and life became more serious and stressful, laughing became something many of us are doing less and less of.
Ironically, laughter might be just the thing we need to make us feel less stressed.
In fact, more and more doctors and psychologists are starting to ‘prescribe’ laughter as a way to increase wellbeing and deal with stress!
Laughter has been found to directly affect our neurochemistry. When we laugh, our stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – decreases while at the same time our body’s feel-good, health-boosting chemicals like endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin increases. A winning neurochemical cocktail!
A good laugh (or even just a smile) instantly lowers stress levels, boosts your mood, and can leave you with a sense of well-being throughout your day.
Here are a few ideas to get you laughing more:
Set an intention to seek out more fun and humour daily.
Print out photos that always make you smile or chuckle. Put these up in places that you will see it every day.
Have a laughter competition with your kids where you see who can laugh the longest/hardest.
Make time to regularly watch movies or TV shows that are not just funny, but hilarious.
Have a collection of funny cartoons, jokes, videos or podcasts.
Make it a priority to meet up regularly with friends who make you laugh
At dinner, start a ritual where everyone in the family has to share one funny story or incident that happened during the day.
When you notice that you are feeling particularly stressed, make a point to seek out laughter, and just notice how you feel afterwards.
Getting into the habit of laughing more is - seriously - one of the best things you can do to help you manage stress.
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy. We’re happy because we laugh.” – William James