a day without a laugh is a day wasted ~ Charlie Chaplin
I was talking with a friend, having a pretty nice time, when I suddenly realised that we hadn’t laughed at all during our conversation. Then I looked back at myself and came to the even bigger realisation that I don’t laugh much any more. OK, I have my fair share of problems, and a serious mental health issue called Borderline Personality Disorder, but that’s not a good reason to be miserable all the time.
Lots of studies on the effects of laughter have revealed all kinds of health benefits, from lower blood pressure, reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the release of happiness-creating endorphins, and increased levels of the antibodies that fight nasty bacteria, respiratory infections, and the onset of cancers. Laughing also burns calories. There are no health benefits whatsoever in not laughing.
Laughter is infectious, as is being happy. People are naturally drawn to those who are happier and more positive than others.
Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for better interpersonal relationships. ~ John Cleese
For me to laugh more, I need to;
- First of all smile more, and a natural smile not a strange grimace.
- Smile when listening to other people speak.
- Learn to be relaxed and positive with other people.
- Act positively, even if that’s not how I feel inside.
- Look for funny and entertaining breaks from my normal daily routine.
- Watch comedy on TV, read classic comedic books such as Three Men in a Boat.
- Work out what it is that drains my happiness and makes me feel miserable.
- Avoid miserable, negative, unhappy, and toxic people.
However, as a mature Englishman I can tell you that we don’t go around laughing at every small thing, and certainly we never laugh at other people ~ that’s nasty. I can laugh with someone, but I can’t laugh at them. Also, the things that other cultures find funny, we don’t. And visa versa, few understand English humour, especially our love of irony.
On the other hand, being positive, happy, and seeing the funny side of my own misfortunes is something that I can do. Especially as I know that good humour and laughter is good for you, and it makes you more popular too.
Some say that it’s great to laugh at the misfortunes of a fool. And that denigrating someone else is the height of fun. All I know is that being cruel is never funny.