Laughter Lifts

Laughter has an unmistakable way of breaking up a bad day, turning a frown upside down, and allowing us to lighten our loads. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a chuckle, a giggle, or a full-on belly laugh… all forms of funny have the power to change our mindsets and lift our spirits with just one humor-filled moment.

During the month of July, all of us Bloomers are on a quest for laughter! For many of us, laughter is a daily part of our lives, much like taking our vitamins or getting dressed in the morning. But for some of us, the trials and tribulations of life have made our hearts heavy and make laughter more elusive. Of course we all love to laugh, but sometimes it can be hard to get those giggles going.

Perhaps the truest testament of comic relief is in the dreaded “embarrassing moment”. We all have them. Sometimes we are brave enough to share them. And no matter how painful the moment was at the time, it will ultimately turn into a laughter inducing walk down memory lane.

I’ve had a few doozies over the years. A spilled plate of saucy spaghetti in front of a childhood crush that clearly ended my chances. A few fun ones of the bathroom variety. Bad timing of misspoken words overheard by the wrong ears, otherwise known as “foot in mouth syndrome”. The day I sang loudly and passionately to a dog in an empty car as I walked by, just to discover it wasn’t so empty after all. That time I had one foot in the boat and the other on the dock as the boat floated out to sea, allowing me to practice my Stretch Armstrong splits before being pulled to safety. Some clumsy falls that left bruises on both by body and my ego. And a token bikini top wardrobe malfunction just to round out the list.

All the glorious goof-ups of our past sure do make for good sources of laughter! There is just something priceless in the ability to laugh at ourselves. To laugh at the stupid things other people do comes easily like an involuntary reaction, but to laugh at ourselves is a beautiful gift of resilience and humility. Priceless.

Reflect for a minute on one of your ego-bruising embarrassing moments. Mentally scan your blooper reels to come up with a really good one. Got it? Now, remind yourself that you not only survived that embarrassment, but that your funny bone (and probably several other people’s too) got a good workout because of it. Simply reminiscing about a silly moment can do wonders for lifting our spirits and resetting our thought patterns.

What if we all lightened up and took ourselves and life’s curve balls a little less seriously? What ways can we invite more laughter into our lives? And how can we maintain our sense of humor in the face of challenges?

Here are a few ways we can intentionally add more laughter into our lives…

We seek it:Laughter is all around us if we are open to seeing it and experiencing it. Outside sources can be a great way to bring more laughter into our lives. Let’s try to surround ourselves with sources to fill up our funny buckets. (Not to be mistaken for Honey Buckets!) It could be in that silly friend that always makes you laugh. Maybe it is in a book or movie or website or the greeting card aisle at the grocery store that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Or perhaps simply reflecting on a fond memory of a funny experience will lift and lighten. Seek sources of laughter in your daily life.

We create it: Creating an environment where laughter is sure to ensue is a brilliant way to increase our happy moments. Game night, girly giggle fests, silly scavenger hunts, dance parties, making up your own words to old songs while singing off-key at the top of your lungs, playing hopscotch or handball like the good ol’ days of elementary school recess, or soon-to-be paddle board yoga. You name it! Really anything that brings you joy will most certainly be accompanied by laughter. Create opportunities for laughter through your activities.

We share it: When a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound? Who knows, because their friends weren’t around to make fun of them for falling! We all do silly, funny, crazy, and sometimes embarrassing things that are just way to good not to share. Why not pass along the silly moments that strike you during your day and share the laughter with friends? Share those funny moments and multiply your laughter.

We feel it: Studies show that laughter brings us important health benefits, so let’s focus on feeling those benefits. It relieves tension and stress, boosts our immune system, releases endorphins promoting overall well-being, and improves the function of blood vessels and blood flow, which helps to protect our heart. I can’t think of any better reasons to laugh than that! As valuable as the after-effects of an intense workout, be fully present in those laughter-filled moments today so that your body, mind, and soul will feel it tomorrow.

Laughter has a way of lifting us up one snort-filled, bladder-bursting, belly-jiggling giggle at a time! Join in the fun of seeking, creating, sharing, and feeling laughter in all its glory this month and throughout your life.

A few questions to ponder…

Where are your favorite places to seek humor?

How do you create opportunities for laughter in your life?

What is your favorite funny story or embarrassing moment to share with friends?

In what ways do you physically feel the benefits of laughter?

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*This post can also be found as a guest post on my friend and life coach’s website for her organization, Friends in Bloom. Check out what her vision is all about and add more joy to your life!

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