Laughter Image scaled
Laughter Image scaled

People don’t seem to laugh so much these days” That is what my classmate told me as his reason for taking the beginners Improv class we are taking at the Bad Dog theatre in Toronto.

I thought about that on the way home from class on Saturday and you know what? He is right!

Everything seem serious these days. Be it the political situation, or people’s personal situations and the pain or challenges they are facing, or even at work, where there is more pressure, less manpower and more expected.

I had a few meetings where I work where those we serve are going through some harrowing life circumstances. Or a friend has an older parent with failing health, or ones business isn’t going quite like they need it.

I admit, given all of the challenges we face both in our own lives and collectively as a planet and maybe even a species…it is hard to laugh.

Yet, laughter may be in our best interests. Laughter loosens you up and can help you be more open to new ideas and learning. I teach workshops at least once a week and I find when you bring humour to the mundane, that all of a sudden, the room changes. People’s view points change, their energy changes, they can breathe, let go and be more open to learn.

The two courses I teach the most are Business Planning and Selling…those are two courses that are so important, but yet, they are serious. I mean really, what is fun about writing a 25-30 page business plan and then taking it to a bank manager for financing your dream idea?

Or in sales, there is not a lot of hands that go up in those sessions, when I ask, “Who hear loves to cold call”. One maybe two hands go up in a class of 25…which means, well yes you guessed it, people would rather build paper clip models at their desk, then to pick up the phone and call out to try and get a new customer to perhaps buy from them.

Adding humour helps. It helps to break the ice in the class, so people can be at ease more, plus it helps those in the class get over the fear of doing the very thing they need to learn and do in order to succeed and it helps to spur on creativity.

There have been medical and psychological studies on humour and I encourage you to go online and research those, but here are a few more benefits of a good guffaw or a belly laugh!

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you to release anger and be more forgiving.

With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Laughter is good for your health!
In an article on help guide dot org, the benefits of laughter are plentiful and include:
  1. Boosting your immunity
  2. Lowers stress hormones
  3. Prevents heart disease
  4. Eases stress and anxiety
  5. Improves your mood
  6. Enhances teamwork
  7. Attracts others to us
  8. Helps to diffuse anger and tension

The list goes on, the bottom line is it is maybe time to add a little humour to your life. How can we do that though in this busy world? How can we do that when life seems so glum some days? How can we do that when with all of the seriousness of life, and in our socio-economic-political environment, where things just seem so dire and serious, how can we not feel a tinge of guilt to go and laugh?

Humour makes you look at life or the world a bit more optimistically. It might even give you new solutions to old problems. It will change your vibe or your current negative state and remember how in the class room, humour can shift your relationship to overcoming the challenges you are facing. It allows to be open to learn!

I loved the Monty Python movie song, “Always look at the bright side of life”. Eric Idle started to sing that in the fields with his friends who were being crucified. I mean yes was it shocking to watch that scene? For sure, but the humour and the song, just made that shock value disappear and we laughed, we sang and we laughed some more.

This week, try to laugh a little.

Listen or watch a comedian you love on YouTube

Watch the comedy network

Don’t hang out with the “Debbie Downers” in your life this week, take a break from them

Go to a comedy club or the Bad Dog Theatre, (Where I am taking my Improv class)

Have a belly laugh, even if you have to fake it…when you find yourself being upset by something, stop, and fake a belly laugh until you begin to laugh!

Hang out with someone fun

Take a laughter yoga class

Do something fun for someone else to make them laugh

Share a joke with a friend

Be a punster…share a pun with others

Make it part of your life to include humour each day or week and see if your relationship to the stress around you doesn’t change. See if your mood doesn’t improve…and that you aren’t feeling a bit more positive and creative to the things we get serious about.

Have a “Joy-filled” month,