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All of us could use a little more laughter in our lives. In addition to making us feel good, research has proven that laughter can improve our health. Cortisol levels, known for contributing to feelings of stress, are reduced through laughter. Your blood pressure may be lowered, as well as your risk of developing heart disease. A few good chuckles throughout the day can even burn some extra calories!
Life often leaves us sighing more often than laughing, however. Sometimes, we need to actively seek out laughter, rather than waiting for funny moments to come to us.Can you remember the last time you giggled until you had tears in your eyes? If not, you need a laugh intervention immediately! Use the following suggestions to get the laughter started.
Watch Silly Online Content
Though it might seem obvious, watching funny videos or short clips of silly content online is one of the best ways to get yourself laughing. Look up bloopers or outtakes from newscasts or your favorite shows. Search for other compilations of humorous moments on YouTube. Watch a video by your favorite funny content creator. If you’re looking for bite-sized, nonsensical humor, you might find some funny seconds-long clips on the short-form video app TikTok. Though everyone’s sense of humor is different, and some things may strike you as funnier than others, if you’re persistent you’ll likely find something that’ll leave you laughing. When you do, bookmark or favorite the funniest clips so you can watch them the next time you’re having a rough day.
Have a Playdate with Your Inner Child
As children, most of us laughed far more than we do now! Get in touch with the child in your heart by acting like a kid again. Jump and skip around. Sing loudly and dance in a totally ridiculous manner. Get outside and toss leaves in the air, roll down a hill, or make a funny drawing with chalk. Speak with a silly accent, or, if you’re feeling bold, play a harmless prank on a friend or family member. Fill up your mouth with candy or marshmallows and try to talk. If you’re in a bad mood, sit down in private and allow yourself to throw a childish tantrum about it. If you think that these things sound childish, it’s because they are! By acting like a kid, you’ll be able to return to the innocent laughter brought about by silliness and play. Let your guard down and embrace laughter!
Start a Laughter & Gratitude Journal for a Rainy Day
Oftentimes, we can’t laugh because our minds are stuck in a haze of depression and negativity. Many of us already know that keeping a “gratitude journal” is recommended for boosting one’s mood. Take the concept of a gratitude journal one step further by starting a journal filled with both grateful and humorous thoughts. Write down the things that you are grateful for, positive things that you experienced throughout the day, and things that made you laugh or smile, too. Did your friend send you a funny photo today? Print it out and paste it into your journal, or doodle your own version of it. Add content to your journal daily, and revisit previous entries whenever you’re feeling blue. Positive memories and tidbits of humor are sure to bring smiles and laughter back into your life.
Go with the Flow of Your Current Mood
Sometimes, we simply can’t force laughter. There are times when trying to laugh will only make us feel more frustrated and bitter. If you know you’re in one of these moods, do your best to recognize the way that you’re feeling. Don’t wallow in your feelings, but strive to accept them. Perhaps reflect on what is causing you to feel this way, and work to process it. Strive to resolve the situation externally and come to peace with it internally. Though you might not be bursting into laughter right away, accepting and working through painful emotions rather than suppressing them will likely allow your mood to improve more quickly, freeing you up to laugh more in the days and weeks to come.
Turn to the Professional Laugh-Makers
When you’re really struggling to laugh, sometimes it’s best to return to the tried-and-true content that has always tickled your funny bone. Who is your favorite professional comedian? Look up a recording of their live performances and watch one, or watch a movie starring a favorite funny actor or actress. Put on a few episodes of an old sitcom you enjoy, or queue up a top-rated episode of a classic sketch comedy program. Seeking out new funny content can sometimes be frustrating; not everything is as funny as we hope it will be! Instead, return to an old favorite. You’ll laugh along with the jokes and sketches that have always amused you.
Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative
Though we can’t eliminate all sources of negativity from our lives, we can certainly reduce much of our exposure to the things that dampen our mood. Stop constantly checking the news and reading up on every update; instead, allow yourself to check the news once or twice a day. Unfollow mainstream media sources on social media and hide friends on your feed who are constantly negative or otherwise irritating. Stop engaging in behaviors that make you feel bad about yourself and stop fueling your sorrow with depressing movies, television programs, and music. Replace these sources of negativity with things that will make you smile and laugh. Follow pages that post pictures of cute animals or heartwarming stories of positivity. Actively seek out news sources that focus on optimistic content. Most of us are already getting enough exposure to the harsh realities of our world as it is. Soften the blow by focusing on uplifting content. These things will make you smile and, in turn, will be more likely to make you laugh.
Watch Others Laugh
It’s a strange phenomenon that most of us have probably experienced before; we’re sitting with someone and they begin laughing. Something about their laughter is infectious, and we soon find ourselves cackling, with tears in our eyes, laughing at their laughter. Laughter is indeed contagious! If you’re in need of a good laugh but don’t know what to watch, simply look up a few videos of other people laughing. At some point, you’ll hear someone laughing in such a way that you’ll simply have to laugh yourself!
Spend Time with Children or Pets
When we’re grumpy or blue, sometimes what we need is a return to innocence and simplicity. Animals and children are two of the best sources of joy and laughter. If you have the opportunity to spend time with young children, do so. Offer to babysit a neighbor’s child or watch your grandkids for a day. Engaging with a child’s nonsensical world is one of the best ways to bring yourself to genuine laughter.If you have a pet at home, take some time to fully engage with them. Put your phone and computer away and get silly with your pet! Animals often behave in ways that simply make us giggle. A cat with catnip can act wildly drugged; a hyperactive dog can lick your face in a way that leaves you dying from laughter. The faces that animals pull can be so silly, too! If the human world is too much for you, turn to animals for your daily dose of smiles and laughter.
Our daily lives can be stressful and grim. We’re surrounded by sources of negativity, such as pessimistic friends and colleagues and depressing news stories. Fight back against the doom and gloom by actively injecting your day with multiple doses of laughter! The next time you’re feeling grumpy or blue, seek out something that’s sure to make you laugh. Your body and soul will thank you for it!
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