I’m laughing and I hope you do, too. At least sometimes. Laughter decreases levels of cortisol and epinephrine, and releases dopamine and serotonin. This makes you feel less stressed, more relaxed, and happier (study). Laughter also improves your immune system by enhancing the effectiveness of T-cells (study) and increasing the number of antibody-producing cells (study). Besides the research, laughing just feels refreshing. And it’s contagious, so people around you can enjoy it, too! Some people laugh less than others, and I’m certainly a smile-more-laugh-less type of person. So a few years ago I made the deliberate choice to laugh out loud more.
Tips for laughing more:
- Spend time with people who make you laugh
- Find comics, videos or jokes that make you laugh and save them for when you need some humour
- Just laugh - smiling on purpose can make you happier (study), so laughing on purpose could do the same thing
“Laughter lets me relax. It’s the equivalent of taking a deep breath, letting it out and saying, ‘This, too, will pass’.” — Odette Pollar
Weekly Mindfulness Practice
- Take a deep breath and let everything go.
- Close your eyes.
- Think about one thing, moment, or person who made you happy today.
- Enjoy that feeling for a few breaths.
- Open your eyes with a smile.