The Art of Laughing

English: Watching a comedic television show he...

English: Watching a comedic television show helps provoke laughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Ah, laughing.”

“Laughter is the best medicine” is good advice, but it’s nothing new. Your doctor or mom or ‘doctor mom’ probably told you many times that “laughter is the best medicine” and how it cures anything from a broken heart (over time) to stress.

If you’re stressed out, you’re not laughing.

But how are you supposed to laugh when you’re worried and stressed out all of the time. How can you laugh?

We have a tendency to take ourselves way too seriously. We also have a tendency to care way too much about what others think of us. This isn’t healthy.

You can’t expect a genie to appear before you and grant you three wishes that will make your troubles disappear instantly. As a result, it’s hard not to be wound so tight that you’re going to spin out of control like a toy top.

I’d like to help change that.

I’ve been studying and paying attention to human emotions, behaviors, and patterns for more than five years. I’ve observed myself, my family, and others, and I’ve created a list of seven techniques that will put a smile on your face and cause a hearty laugh to form in the depths of your belly. Caution! A laugh may come out of your mouth.

This list scratches the surface of laughter, but it will be enough to get you started…

 Make Me Laugh

1. Laugh at yourself.

When you do something embarrassing do you laugh about it, or quickly try to cover it up? If you’re like most people, you cover it up. Why? So you did something wonky like trip over your own feet or spilled your spaghetti all over your nice suit. Most comediennes and comedians are paid a ton of money to have people laugh AT THEM! Think about that the next time you trip up the stairs.

laughing cat

laughing cat (Photo credit: Liz Phung)

2. Watch funny pet videos.

Pets are funny and we love to watch videos about them. Even David Letterman still has his “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment on The Letterman Show. The next time you’re feeling blue or discouraged, watch a couple of funny pet videos. They’ll cheer you up in no time. You may be inspired to adopt a pet from your local animal shelter.

3. Read comic strips.

My mom loves reading Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. When I hear her laugh, I know she’s reading the comic strip. I started reading Pearls Before Swine because she was laughing all of the time, and I wanted to know what was so funny about the comic strip. The cast of characters include a savvy rat, zippy zebra, Stephan (the writer), a good-natured pig, the crocs, and other precocious characters. Rat’s died twice and was almost a goner, but was revived and has been going strong ever since. Click here for a list of characters and get to all the characters in Pearls Before Swine. They’ll put a smile on your face every day.

Once you start laughing, that already has opened up the old closed valves within yourself. Jean Houston

4. Watch TV comedies.

One of my favorite TV comedies is Modern Family. Spending time with the Dunphy family, Mitch and Cam, and Jay and Gloria will make you laugh in 30 minutes; actually it’s more like 20 minutes because of all of the commercials. Not only that, they’ll make your family look good!

Watching current TV comedies like The Office, 30 RockFamily Guy (pushes the envelope a bit), or old favorites like The Cosby Show, Cheers, Frasier, Night Court, Happy Days, Boy Meets World, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, In Living Color, and others will make you laugh out loud. Go to the library or video store and rent a couple of seasons of your favorite TV comedies. You can probably find them on Netflix and or digital cable.

Whatever you do, start watching TV comedies NOW!

Warning: You may laugh so hard that you could fall off of the couch.

5. Watch movie comedies.

Just as TV comedies will make you laugh, movies such as Bridesmaids will have you laughing your head off in no time. Rent a movie starring Jim Carey or Tina Fey, a comedian and comedienne who know a thing or two about people making.

Movies are a great escape. While it’s not healthy to escape your life by watching movies all of the time, a comedy here or there will lighten your mood.

6. Buy a joke book.

Telling and hearing jokes is fun! Buy a joke book at a garage sale, the store, or online. Whenever you need a laugh, open your joke book and laugh your stress and troubles away.

Tip: You could use a joke or two at a party — you’ll become an instant hit and life of the party.

7. Go to the card shop (or online) and read funny greeting cards.

Sometimes, it helps to get out of the house and drive to your local greeting card shop (or retail store if you don’t have a Hallmark store near you) and read funny cards. Of course, you could visit sites such as 123 Greetings and read funny greeting cards online. However, getting out of the house is probably a good idea.

Laughing Does the Body, Mind, and Soul Good

To laugh is to live; to not laugh is not to live. Get your joy and excitement back for life by laughing and smiling throughout your day. Begin by looking in the mirror each morning and saying, “Hello gorgeous! Are you ready for a fun filled and laughter filled day?” And then wink at yourself — it will make you laugh.

If you want to laugh, use one or more of the techniques from this post.

Laughing and smiling and feeling good every day are closer to possible than you might have believed.

What makes you laugh? Share in the comments below.

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