I absolutely love this picture. It is me on my wedding day crying with laughter with one of my great friends and a very positive person in my life, Martine. I can’t remember what she said but I can guarantee it was her that was creating the laughter. She is so funny. I love spending time with her.
Laughter really is a great medicine for mind and body, that is why this tool is one of the firm favourites in My Wellness Toolbox and I search for laughter every day, especially on the not so good days.
Recently we have watched Gavin & Stacey series for the first time (…. I know… what planet have we been on?!?!) and it has had us belly laughing. Tears of laughter rolling down our faces. When I captured my husband laughing it made me laugh more. Laughter is so contagious, so when you start laughing you pass it on and make others feel good too.
The benefits of laughing and smiling is endless. It boosts both mood and immunity at the same time, lowers stress hormones, eases anxiety and tension, relives stress, strengthens resilience, helps defuse conflict, relaxes muscles from head to toe, increases energy…BURNS CALORIES… and all of this for free.
Turns out even the fake smiles and laughter are good for you. 13 years ago, my Cognitive Behavioural Therapist explained that my physical body does not know if a laugh is real or fake, it still receives that surge of positivity as my brain released the endorphins. Laughing stops distressing emotions in their tracks, laughing reduces anxiety. Even if it felt fake it was doing me good.
The reality is some days you do not feel like laughing, sense of humour failure for all the right reasons may have become the norm, so you have to search for it and maybe just start with an extra few smiles a day. Here are some ideas:
- If you hear somebody else laughing, smile knowing that someone else is feeling good
- Pull out tool #15 Gratitude and write down 10 things you are grateful for. Just thinking about the good things in your life will help you smile.
- Think about something that made you laugh, replay it in your head, write it down or tell someone else about it
- Seek out tool #14 Positive People, the ones that make you laugh.
- Do an activity that makes you feel good
- Watch your favourite Comedy Movie or TV show
- Watch a comedian on YouTube… 1 min with Michael McIntyre, Peter Kay or Sarah Millican and I’m normally howling
- Play a game with children. Their smiles and laughter are contagious, and they are the experts at it!
- Think about your most embarrassing moment and dare to share it, laughing at yourself makes life a little less serious
- Do something silly
- Look through photo albums and be grateful for all the good times you have experienced
- Google “Funny Quotes”
- Look for the humour in a difficult situation rather than focusing on all the negatives
- When walking along the street put the phone away, lift your head and smile at everyone you pass
Can you try at least one of the above today?
Just one week after our daughter was born my husband’s father fell very ill and came to live with us, four months later to the day she was born he would sadly pass away. It was a challenging and very sad time, yet during that time, we all, including my father-in-law found some humour in the experience of living under the same roof. I think some friends found it odd, maybe even cold, that we would chuckle as we relayed some of the experiences and conversations we had during what was a very sad and tough time. Yet those moments of humour kept us going and are now very fond memories that we can treasure. Laughter can help you grieve and bring you closer together.
“Always find a reason to laugh, it may not add years to your life but it surely will add life to your years”
Hope today brings you some smiles x
Photo Credit: https://robandsarahgillespie.co.uk/