Laugh Often?

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”  Anthony Burgess

Laughter is the best medicine.  We have all heard this saying.  How well do we apply it?  How often and how much do you laugh?  Various research has shown that when you laugh, it helps you to feel better.  We can laugh with our friends, at a funny scene in the movies, reading a funny line and even laughing at ourselves.

Laughter is contagious.  Sometimes we laugh not because of the “joke” but because of how someone else is laughing.  It brightens and lightens the mood of a situation.  We all know the effects of laughter.  Laughter makes us stretch the muscles on our face and body and even makes us tear.  Laughing fits hurt our stomach muscles (so I think that it is an abs workout too).  The physical and emotional effects of laughter are certainly beneficial.

Subconsciously, we prefer to spend time with people who can make us laugh.  We prefer to work in an environment which is fun and that is usually one where people laugh often.  We prefer to see the lighter side of a situation.  Emotionally we are drawn to people who are optimistic, jovial and easy-going with a good dose of sense of humour.  It is just fun.  Who doesn’t want fun?

An environment that is devoid of laughter, would be dark, gloomy and downright quiet.  Imagine a place where there is no laughter.  Imagine a life where laughter is not an everyday occurrence.  How would you feel about that?

I am assuming that I am not the only one who likes a good laugh, hang around with people who have the same sense of humour, work in an environment where we can laugh and have fun.  Going to work knowing that it will be exciting, where people are motivated to do their best work and enjoy a good laugh or two, sure sounds like a great place to be in.  I remember when I was working in Microsoft, we would have Mid-Year Review (MYR) which was essentially the most stressful time for a director.  It was during these stressful moments, that some of the best laughter were experienced.  Maybe lack of sleep and too much caffeine contributed to that, but we would laugh.  In a way, that lightened a stressful environment.

Ask yourself:

  • When was the last time you laughed so hard that you almost toppled over?
  • When was the last time you made someone else laugh?
  • When was the last time you laughed with your children?
  • When was the last time you laughed with your friends?
  • When was the last time you laughed at something that you did?  Do you laugh at yourself?
  • How often do you laugh?

If you find yourself thinking really hard about the answers to the questions above, then maybe its time to lighten up and spread some laughter around.  Watch a good comedy or hang out with the funniest friend you know.  Have a laugh.  It will at least for that moment, make you feel better.  After all, as the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine.

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” –Maya Angelou

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