IIn the midst of hurt and pain of heartbreak, the last thing that you can imagine yourself doing is laughing and yet the benefits of doing so can be extraordinary because laughter is a natural healer. It boosts the production of Serotonin, a natural anti-depressant in the body whilst also reducing the levels of stress hormones Cortisol, dopamine and epinephrine. Now the really cool thing is that the body cannot distinguish between real and fake laughter so faking it has exactly the same benefits as the real thing. Now I am sure there are many people who wish that in certain areas of their life that faking was a good as the real thing. For those areas, I cannot guarantee that but for laughter I can assure you this is the real deal.
Now you don’t need to get to the point of uncontrollable snot laughter to feel better, you can simply do this by faking it.
If you think of the main laughter sounds; Ho Ho Ho Ho- which is probably only used by Santa, always a jolly fella, He He He He – imagine Santa’s little helpers sniggering away in the background and Ha Ha Ha Ha – lets imagine Mrs Claus laughing that she doesn’t feature in the delivery of presents aspect of Christmas stories so can justifiably stay in with a bottle of wine whilst Santa has to tour the world in 24 hours. Anyway, enough about Santa, not sure why he is featuring in this blog but Hey Ho (other versions of laughter sounds).
So, taking those 3 sounds, try making those noises along to familiar songs that you know. Do it driving in your car so that you don’t have to feel self-conscious. Let’s take Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ song. Instead of singing ‘because I am happy, clap along…..’ and change it to ‘Ha-Ha Ha Happy He He-He Ho Ho Ho….’ etc. etc.
This is a good way to get started and may even evoke some genuine laughter.
If you are finding this a struggle, you could even try watching movies that make you laugh or going to a comedy club. Here is my favourite clip from a comedian that has been bent over double with laughter. It may do the same for you
The important thing is to really focus on is building laughter into your day. When you don’t focus on it, it is easy for the day to pass without any elevation in your mood and over time this could get you stuck in a dark hole.
Adults generally only laugh about 20 times per day on average whereas children can be as much as 300 times. The main difference could be having the opportunities to play. The daily grind of work, chores, paying bills and sleeping often puts a stop to adults getting the chance to really let their hair down. Children on the other hand get to play and use their imagination all day. So why not spend more time with playing with your children, or friends children. Take them to a soft play centre and join in, go to the park and kick a ball around, get a hula hoop, a pogo stick or roller skates. Make the time to play. It makes the laugher more frequent and will create positive memories.
Yes there is a chance of injury but a twisted knee from being on a pogo stick is a far better story than a twisted knee from getting off the couch to make a brew.
If you need some daily inspiration for laughter, join The Laughing Crowd, our facebook group where we share the daily laughs in our lives. You could also take part in the #30DaysofLaughter challenge where you log on social media something that has made you laugh each day.
Fancy an all-inclusive weekend retreat of laughter then try the Beautiful Souls Wellness Retreat. A weekend of healing hearts and minds. For more information check out the retreat page