When was the last time you laughed so hard you could barely breathe?
If you’re having to scan your mind for an answer, you are not alone.
Being a responsible adult can make it hard to find time for levity and merriment.
Hitting the ‘pause’ button on the business of being a grown-up is not something our fast-paced, productivity-focused society makes a priority.
This means it’s even more important that you purposely seek out, and incorporate, humour and delight in your life.
Why? Because the prescription to happiness is a regular dose of laughter.
The sheer act of laughing means all other emotions are momentarily overridden; you can’t worry about your finances and laugh at the same time… your brain, facial muscles and vocal apparatus are all busily engaged in expressing hilarity and glee.
I, personally, have found fun, play and laughter to be such powerful components in improving people’s lives (and, of course, my own) that I devote entire sections to them in my courses and client work.
In fact, what prompted this article was the work I’m currently doing for my membership site.
(SPOILER ALERT) I’m putting together one of the core features that involves ongoing activities we do together to help bring out the kid in you – nature show ‘n tell, scavenger hunts, doodling, painting, laughter diaries and more – all for the sheer joy of it, for the light-heartedness and amusement it affords.
It’s the best way to build life-enhancing habits – doing things together – and my way of keeping you accountable to increasing your happiness *grin*
Playing and fun are not just for children; laughter, leisure and enjoyment have the power to renew you; to refresh and restore your mental and physical energy.
They create an opening, some space for YOU in your life. They are some of the fastest and easiest ways to defuse tension and stress.
Even mother nature makes time for merriment – just watch otters, meerkats, dolphins or your own pets, they regularly engage in play, irrespective of age.
Oftentimes, merely watching their antics is enough to get you laughing.
Create a ‘things I find hilarious’ list.
Comedians, cartoons, sitcoms, funny friends…
Search for comedy you love online and listen to that – daily!
Swap watching the news with a funny show you love or listen while you do the dishes.
Incorporate things from this list into your daily life: add them to your calendar like you would a meeting or appointment.
And because I’m a science geek….
Some interesting facts about the ‘science of laughter’:
- laughter is an instinctive behaviour programmed by your genes, not a learned reaction (I find this so fascinating)
- laughter is a universal vocalization; every human being, irrespective of culture or era, is born with the instinct to laugh
- laughter is not easily controlled consciously (at least the truly genuine, spontaneous kind) as can be evidenced by trying to laugh on command
- certain regions of your brain have to be inhibited for spontaneous laughter to be possible; these are areas that are involved in decision-making and controlling behaviour
- humans are not the only mammals that laugh; primates and apes laugh too
Life is stressful enough as it is.
Include humour in your life and give yourself permission to play.
Fun leads to laughter.
And laughter leads to feeling lighter.
Purposeless fun has a purpose after all: your own HAPPINESS.
Are you ready for a different way of being? One that includes more laughter, and time in nature, and a slower pace? Consider joining my membership waitlist where we’ll be going beyond knowing to weaving in joyful habits together.