We are happy because we laugh ...

 Photo by  MI PHAM  on  Unsplash

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

I love this observation from a past study  – “We don’t laugh because we are happy, we’re happy because we laugh.” – W. James (1842-1910)

There has been much research around why we laugh and what the benefits are but what is really interesting is that researchers are having trouble proving it. Laughing is subjective and although areas of our brains light up there are still more questions than answers.

Maybe in this case we just need to trust that there is a deeper reason and enjoy the joy of laughing. The one thing researchers do know for sure is that laughing together helps us to bond and strengthens our relationships. I am sure we can all think of an example where laughter brought us together. I have many examples of work pressures lightening because of laughing with co-workers and even in the throws of grief laughter seemed to bring much needed moments of lightness in a dark time. All that matters to me is that it feels really good so why wouldn’t we focus on creating more moments of laughter in our life.

As I reflect on the importance of laughter it is quite clear that laughter lightens. The weight of stress, fear, doubt and worry seem to melt away in the throws of an uncontrollable, snorting laugh! Here are my 5 tips to creating more laughs in our life:

There is always a lighter side to every situation

Our universe is always in the pursuit of balance – for example light/dark, cold/hot, ying/yang There is always two sides and we can access the lighter side of things by asking ourselves a simple question – What is the lighter side of this? Perspective can snap us back into reality as most situations aren’t as serious as we make them out to be. I realize that some circumstances we are required to sit in the dark and that is ok but I do think the majority of situations can be lighter by giving ourselves permission to not take life so seriously.

Connect to our body, mind and spirit

My experience is that the more aware we are about what is happening in our body, mind and spirit the more we are able to access what really matters in life. Creating more awareness is training yourself to notice in the moment. A simple exercise you can practice is watch a funny video, one you know you will laugh at and then after take a moment to reflect on what you felt in your body, what was happening in your mind and how your spiritual self feels. When we take time to reflect on our experience, we tend to want to repeat it, especially if it feels good.

Laugh at ourselves

There is a running joke in our family that we don’t need an audience because our own jokes make us laugh. What a gift to be able to laugh at ourselves and our experiences. It is such an empowering feeling to know that we can find humor all by ourselves. I have a joke I can say anytime to myself and laugh. Take a moment and reflect on the moments when you laugh at you. What makes you funny?

Who makes you laugh and why?

If you want an easy tool to turn to when you need a boost of joy, then take a moment to get clarity on what makes you laugh and why? Who do you admire that is funny? Why? Understanding your humor blueprint will offer you go to resources when you need. I have no doubt this is why video, GIF’s and images on social media have exploded because we all desire a good laugh. For me, kids and animals always bring a smile to my face. What’s yours?

Tip: What we focus on grows:

Laughter --- Joy --- Presence --- Wholehearted Living

Like a flower in the garden, the more we water it, the more it will grow. Water the laughter.

Here are a couple articles to check out:

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/laughter.htm

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201709/the-neuroscience-contagious-laughter

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