Laugh and Lighten Up

I used to say to my kids when we would encounter a grumpy person, ‘at least you don’t have to go home with that person or even BE that person’.

Grumpy people are everywhere and they are toxic, so what do you do to fix them? Nothing. Nothing at all. Truly there is nothing you can do to fix other people who are grumpy. Just leave them alone to their own troubles. The trouble is that sometimes their bad attitude is contagious. How do you combat that?

In school, when I was there, bullying was dealt with differently. There were no ‘big plans’, campaigns, t­-shirt awareness programs. Right or wrong, that isn’t how it was dealt with. But one of my teachers told us how he used to deal with them. Just laugh at them. A bully needs you to be afraid of you, so laugh, they won’t know what to do. I have actually used this advice a few times, especially in traffic. Just laugh, smile, and be glad you are not that guy.

Many numbers are thrown around, but I've heard some claims that children laugh more than 300 times a day, but adults laugh less than 20 times a day. That alone makes me sad. In general we should all just smile more. Even laugh more. Lighten up!

So let’s look at some of the reasons to lighten up a little.

1. Laughter boosts your immune system. According to some studies, laughter helps to boost your immune system and may even increase the number of cancer ­killing cells in your body. Doing something that feels good and is good for you? Sounds like a good idea to me!

2. Laughter releases endorphins. When you laugh, you trigger a release of endorphins (those feel ­good chemicals). These chemicals are the reason that you feel so happy when you laugh.

3. Laughter helps us connect with others. Think about how you feel when you're laughing with someone. You feel connected, right? Even if you don't know the person well, you feel bonded with him or her. Forming connections has a positive impact on our lives ­­ and laughter is a great way to connect!

4. Laughter protects your heart. Apparently laughing has some healthy heart benefits. Laughing can lead to improved blood flow and cut down on high blood pressure.

5. Laughter keeps us present. When you're laughing, you're focused on whatever is funny in that moment. You're not worried about the past or the future. You're in the now. Though you might not realize it, laughter really is one of the best ways to stay in the moment.

I have been reading a book lately and loving it. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. It’s a great book that shows “The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work”. If you want a great read of real evidence that happy is better, this is your book. There is evidence in this book that says that your brain can’t tell the difference between a fake smile and laughter and the real deal, so just do it. You will feel better.

So go;

  • find that movie that cracks you up.
  • Read a funny book.
  • Startle your kids.
  • Play a silly game.
  • Tell a joke.
  • Something, anything, just laugh!

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?” – Unknown

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