I was recently out for lunch with a friend. We had a great time and spent a lot of time talking and laughing. We just had fun. As we were getting ready to leave, the gentleman at the table next to us commented that it was so good to see people having a good time and laughing together. He said the people didn’t seem to laugh much anymore.
We took a look around the restaurant and the gentleman was right. The people who were talking were serious and there were a large number of people not even talking as they were on their phones. There weren’t sounds of laughter in that space.
Why don’t we laugh anymore?? We seem to have become a very serious society. I think that COVID kicked some of the laughter out of us. The fear that was instilled by various levels of government, the press and many in the medical community still has people afraid. This is something that we need to move past.
People may be afraid to “be funny” because they may offend someone. There are a number of people in the world who are so busy waiting for you to say something that offends them that they don’t see the humour in something that you might say. Rather than offending them, it’s easier to say nothing.
Social media has not helped the humour battle, how you look has become so important that young teenagers are having Botox treatments so they don’t get wrinkles. That is so wrong. I can’t imagine paralyzing my face so I don’t have a wrinkle. We need to move past our looks and take a look at what is inside us. I am sure it is beautiful. Besides, wrinkles are generally a sign of a life well lived. I rejoice in every wrinkle I have.
We need to learn to laugh at ourselves and the goofy things we have done. It can be highly entertaining at a party, but it is more a sign of self-acceptance. We accept that we aren’t perfect, we will mess up sometimes and we are okay with that.
Why Should We Laugh?
There are physical, mental and social benefits to laughter. While this list is taken from HelpGuide.org, every website I visited showed the same benefits from laughter. Laughing is good for you.
Physical health benefits ¹
- Boosts immunity
- Lowers stress hormones
- Decreases pain
- Relaxes your muscles
- Prevents heart disease
Mental health benefits
- Adds joy and zest to life
- Eases anxiety and tension
- Relieves stress
- Improves mood
- Strengthens resilience
- Strengthens relationships
- Attracts others to us
- Enhances teamwork
- Helps defuse conflict
- Promotes group bonding
An additional physical benefit is the really great abdominal workout you get when you have a really good belly laugh. I can remember watching a show and I laughed so hard, my abs were sore the next day. That beats doing crunches.
So, How Do We Start To Laugh Again?
I found that during COVID I wasn’t laughing much anymore. It just hit me one day that laughter wasn’t as much a part of my life as it once was. I really had to decide how I was going to get it back. My husband subscribes to both of the papers in Calgary and I was getting bogged down in the ugly when I read them. I started to skip over all of the negative articles and would skim the ones that piqued my interest.
THEN, I would read the comics last so that I was ending my foray through the papers with a laugh. There are some pretty good comics in the paper if you take the time to read them.
Having the ability to laugh at the goofy things that I have done has never been a problem for me. I can certainly find laughter there. Try it for yourself.
Hang out with some younger children. They love to laugh and they can be pretty funny in some of the things they do. Let your inner child out. Colour, play, dance. You won’t be able to help but laugh.
Watch a funny show on TV. Some are funnier than others, but I am sure that you can find one that tickles your funny bone. And if laughter is really hard, maybe stay away from the deeply heavy shows for a while. You can also watch a funny movie. Find a comedian you really like and watch them. I have gotten my share of belly laughs and have gone down the comedian rabbit hole on Facebook. Time was lost, but it was worth the laughter.
Play with your pet. I have had a lot of fun playing with pets. They can be quite hilarious.
As you look for opportunities to laugh, you will find yourself feeling lighter, developing better relationships, having a lighter outlook on life and developing those rock-hard abs as you belly laugh your way through life.
Lighten your world, LAUGH.
If you need some assistance finding laughter, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
¹ HelpGuide.org. “Laughter is the Best Medicine” Feb 23, 2023
About the Author
Diane Stevenson, founder of It’s YOUR Life Coaching, is a Certified Life & Business Coach with multiple certifications, including Career, Relationship, Wellness, Leadership, and Workplace Coaching. With a passion for empowering individuals, she draws from her personal experiences and training to help clients break free from limitations, fostering their growth from languishing to thriving.