A waitress runs after the adult female walking out the front door of a local restaurant, "Ma'am, please wait one second, can I speak with you?" This abrupt attention startles the customer; she cannot imagine why she is being stopped on her way out the door. She thinks, "Maybe I am the 1000th customer and I've won a weeks worth of all you can eat tacos" or "I know what it is, I am wearing really cute shoes, she probably wants to know where I purchased them."
As the two get closer and make eye contact, it's apparent that she is not interested in her latest fashion decisions; "Ma'am, ah….um….I just thought I should tell you before you leave, your skirt is tucked up inside your panty hose in the back." True story, it happened to a friend of mine. Are you laughing? Hopefully, for the sake of your health, you are!
Research indicates that laughter truly is good for the mind, body and soul-especially if we can laugh at ourselves. So what are some of those benefits you may be asking yourself? Well, when we are laughing, our brains are releasing 'feel good' hormones called endorphins. Also, laughing for a approximately 10 to 15 minutes turns into a good ab workout, clears our mind, produces positive thoughts and helps us to keep things in perspective. The relaxed positive attitude laughter brings, just with 10 minutes of hearty laughter, benefits us for a good 45 minutes after the laughter has subsided.
Hold on, that's all well and good for some people, but what if one doesn't have a sense of humor or their life circumstances do not warrant anything to laugh about? Good question and here's a great answer-the human brain does not recognize the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. The brain is releasing endorphins even if you are pretending to laugh.
Here are a few suggestions to find more laughter in your life:
- Laughter Yoga-Popular in over 100 countries, it's more laughter than yoga and a lot of fun, go to Laughter Yoga
- Have go-to videos or pictures that are easily accessible when you need a good quick laugh.
- Smile-it's the start of laughter.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Even in problematic situations, finding humor can be a great equalizer and gives one the opportunity to shift perspectives.
- Come join our training titled: A Parent's Prescriiption for Laughter, the next time you see it being offered in your area.
In closing, here is a mind opening statistic-children laugh an average 300 to 400 times per day. As we grow older and become more inhibited and our responsibilities grow, adults laugh much less-average 12 times per day. Yes, as grown ups, we need to work a little harder in freeing up our minds to look for humor, but just remember-our brains release those same feel good hormones even if we are pretending to laugh!