Since the start of COVID-19, I had a laughable daily goal.
It was simply – to laugh more.
Sometimes life and the planet – if you watch the non-stop negative news – is overwhelming.
So I found something to laugh at instead.
My dog, a funny youtube comedy clip, a joke. I am learning to laugh far more at myself. (This one is real easy!)
World record at laughing
I’ve got this mate, John, who surely holds a world record for most laughs. I recently asked him how he does it. He said: “It’s a choice. I choose to laugh rather than be down.”
He is the epitome of laughter. He laughs all the time. It is his an inner body workout. His laughter is infectious.
In the deep myths of lockdown in the winter, following his model really helped to generate a boost in my mood and in those around me.
January is statistically the most miserable month of the year
Even though often I didn’t feel like it! Who did in the midst of the January lockdown – already statistically the most miserable month of the year.
Children laugh several hundreds times a day yet us ‘oldies’ laugh on average 4 to 8 times a day.
The good news is… we can make a choice to laugh!
Laughter is a habit
Like negativity, laughter is a habit that needs to be practiced.
It can even boost productivity.
Offices that have laughter will generate more team togetherness and productivity.
Benefits of laughter…
1 Laughter increases digestion. It boosts our parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to rest, digest and repair. (TIP: Don’t ever eat while watching bad news!)
2 Laughter boosts happiness. It releases endorphins into our system. These are naturally occurring neurochemicals that produce a feeling of happiness.
They are released during the consumption of spicy foods, exercise, excitement, pain and love.
3 Laughter the heart: It increases blood flow and function of the blood vessels.
4 Laughter relaxes us.
5 Laughter reduces stress hormones by cutting cortisol production.
6 Laughter can lengthen life: Yes, apparently. Look at the Blue Zones.
7 Laughter improves friendship: Laughing bonds us with others.
So whatever is going on – put on your favourite comedy and try for a big hearty laugh – even through gritted teeth. Make a reminder to laugh. Hang around a friend who really makes you chuckle.
Shane Dean is a PR expert and Founding Editor of the Good News Post. He has done hundreds of motivational talks to audiences, businesses, organisations and individuals since the early 2000s.