16 Nov 2016
How To Laugh When You Don’t Feel Like It!
Everybody likes laughing. In fact many people will proudly declare that they laugh a lot. We easily and naturally laugh when we feel good and something funny comes along. And we feel even better AFTER we laughed, right?
If only it was always the case… There are moments in life when we don’t feel like laughing (we all know and almost dread those moments) When we feel down or stressed or anxious, what do we usually do? We have options: can chose to cry, to exercise, to vent over a glass of wine, to go see a movie, etc. But somehow laughing doesn’t come to mind, yet we know it makes us feel good. Is there any way around it?
Many will argue that in order for them to laugh, they need a good reason (a joke, a funny situation or video, in short a starter) But when we are feeling down, a joke that made us laugh before is not as funny (and doesn’t get as started.)
Does that mean that laughter cannot be used to make us feel better?
What if we changed our perspective about laughter? What if we stopped viewing it as a result of good mood and started to view it… as effective and quick solution against blues?
Let me offer a new perspective on laughter through a parallel with a very common activity that makes people feel good: running.
When we were cave men, running had an essential purpose: survival (as in running after a mammoth to eat food or running away from a saber-toothed tiger to avoid to become food) Humans had to be very agile and possess good stamina to live and see another day. There is a good chance that we are all descendants of good runners.
But in our modern society, there is no more reason for humans to run (after all, mammoths and saber-toothed tigers went extinct) Yet running and jogging is very popular activity: look at all those people who run marathons and ironman triathlons! It is obviously not for survival purposes that those events keep attracting more and more participants.
We all know and accept that the main reason why people keep running is for exercising. Regular running sessions have multiple benefits for health and well being; and everybody acknowledges that, even people who, like me, don’t like running.
What if we applied the same logic to laughter? What if we started viewing laughter as an exercise that has huge positive impact on our health and well being? Look at those benefits of continuous laughter (10-30 minutes):
– increased blood circulation
– Reduction of stress
– Boost to the immune system
– minimizing risk factors of heart disease and hypertension
– lowering impact on blood sugar (for those suffering from diabetes)
– improves good mood, reduces anxieties and contracts depression
– Literally puts a smile on your face 🙂
And the cherry on the sundae: all of these positive outcomes with much lesser risk of injury than running!
So what do you think? Can you alter your perception of laughter and start seeing it as a simple exercise?
Back to the question at hand: how to laugh if you don’t feel like it? Simple: focus on the goal that will be achieved by a lengthy laughter as exercise. Not every runner feels like running all the time. But they make an effort to start the jog and keep it going for minimum 20 min to get the positive results.
So next time you don’t feel like laughing, but want to have a smile back on your lips, make an effort to start laughing/giggling and keep it going… for 1 or 2 minutes.
Do you accept the challenge? Drop me a line!
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