During challenging times like what we are now experiencing, laughing can be the farthest thing from our minds. We tend to get more serious, stressed out, and lack the ability or even the desire, to laugh when it's exactly what we need. Laughing can serve as a shifter or a reset button. Laughter is how we can see and hear happiness.
Intentionally creating scenarios to laugh each day is an important coping tool for challenging times. How this looks can vary, it might be watching a funny movie, a standup comedic act, or reading a humorous book. It might be getting on a video chat with friends and laughing together like you normally would in person. It might be through telling funny stories of the past with your loved ones or pulling friendly shenanigans or pranks on your loved ones. There are lots of ways to cultivate laughter.
Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Another option is to practice a laughing meditation, yep you read that right. Gather up your family or friends in person or on a video chat and have everyone just start laughing. It usually starts off forced and awkward, but it quickly becomes funny and pretty soon everyone is genuinely laughing.
Once you've had a good laugh, take stock of how you're feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed and light? Finding humor amongst the challenge builds resilience. And the best thing of all...laughter is contagious. Treat laughter as you would your diet, exercise and other daily practices, and get some laughter into your daily routine. Just a few minutes a day can decrease stress, increase your mood, overall health and wellness.
Why did the teddy bear say no to dessert?
Because she was stuffed :)