Don’t you just love to be around people that make you laugh? It seems to lighten our load and gives us a break from the constant mind chatter going on in our monkey brains. Realizing this, how many times in the past week have you had a good laugh over something? For those of us who have intense personalities and over scheduled lives we may be unaware of the importance humor plays in our own personal sense of well being. I read a quote recently from Gina Barreca, Ph.D. who said, “Humor is the one thing that fear cannot abide. Laughter banishes anxiety and can help replace fear.”
We know that laughter, even the simple act of smiling, can change the neurochemistry in our brains and cause us to feel better. Positive thought builds new neuron connections in our brains and we begin to feel more confident and hopeful about tomorrow. We can do this for ourselves by laughing often even about the smallest things in our lives. Sounds like a simple solution to me. Yet, sometimes we overlook the most simplistic of solutions thinking that there must be more to the story.
There is, in fact, a lot more to the story of achieving happiness. For many it takes a lifetime to realize that happiness is in, around and through us at all times just waiting to be encouraged to full bloom. It is not something external to buy or achieve but rather internal that you nurture to a radiant bloom in your personal garden of life.
All of us experience fears and anxieties. It just seems part of the human condition. Sometimes these feelings can rise to a fever pitch and we wonder if life will ever get any easier. One sure way to take a break from this tension and stress is to take a “laughter break” for a minute and remember that an ability to laugh at yourself or a circumstance along the way can help put things in perspective. Take a moment and think about the last time you truly laughed about something. How did it make you feel?
A regular dose of humor is important for all of us. It can be the salve that stops the itch of uncertainty or fear brooding below the surface. Movies, books, even an email forwarded to us of some outrageous circumstance are opportunities for laughter which increases our feelings of happiness. The human connection, engaging in a conversation with another person, is a great way to appreciate all that life has to offer as we smile, laugh and fully enjoy the moment together. Choose to give and receive the gift of laughter with others and everyone wins.. It doesn’t cost anything, is easily attainable and can be used repeatedly without worrying about the side effects. How much better can it get?
I believe in the quote, ‘laughter is the best medicine.’ Well, even if it’s not THE best it’s surely up there in the top 10! For a few days check your face in the mirror occasionally. Does your image look happy, hopeful and appreciative of the life you have created? As you check out your own level of happiness you may decide that you want more of it. Start by forcing, if necessary, a smile on your face from time to time, and give in to the urge to laugh at life. Not only will it increase your face value but you will begin to feel better overall. Sometimes we need to ‘fake it ’till we make it,’ that’s okay. Changing behavior starts with an intentional act that you choose to make in order to improve your life. It’s worth the effort.
Have a great few days!