Why laugh more?

Did you know you could boost your health, improve your relationships and ratchet up your happiness by laughing? Back in the 19th century, psychologist William James observed, “We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.”

It might sound counter-intuitive to laugh without jokes, and without finding something funny, but how do you feel when you laugh? People’s common response to this question is ‘better’. How about you?

When you have a good laugh you trigger the release of endorphins, your brain’s happy hormones. You give your system a natural lift that can last for hours. You can even wake up in a good mood. Yes, really.

Tip 1:
Make a point of dosing yourself up regularly with good news, comedy shows, funny stuff on youtube, especially at night.

Have you noticed how you connect better with people when you share a laugh or even just a smile? Sometimes it’s just a smile with your eyes but when you connect you share a moment of emotional warmth. And because connection is the antidote to loneliness, it is a lovely thing to experience and offer. Just give your smile away.

Tip 2:
See how many people you can smile at on your way to and from work.

What about those times when you’re feeling rough, irritable and stressed but nonetheless have to do the school run or cook the breakfast or nurse your children in the middle of the night? How do you access a good mood or your better nature? The power and effect of a good-natured smile is enormous and is a fast way to life your spirits and improve your mood.

Tip 3:
Get in front of the mirror and just smile, willingly. It might take a bit of effort but you’re worth it.

If you’re on the quest for a more profound peace of mind and are ready to start regular practices like yoga or meditation, you can start to increase your inner peace with smiling and laughing practices. As with all practices, the more you do, the better they work. All you need do is persevere. And the delightful thing about smiling and laughing practices is they are naturally enjoyable. Just practice smiling and laughing more.

Tip 4:
The easiest practice is to smile in a good-natured way for 15 seconds, three times a day, once as early as possible – even before you get out of bed – once in the middle of your day, and once again at night.

When you start that, be alert for any changes in how your day goes. You’ve taken that magic step of starting your day well. Are you ready?

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