Create a laughter practice
Although I'm a laughter coach and work with companies to help their teams laugh more, you don't need to hire me to create a laughter practice. But you can. I won't turn down that cash.
A regular laughter practice has been linked to lower levels of stress, better sleep, pain reduction and increased satisfaction with life. Not too bad for something that's super easy, cheap and fun.
Granted, some of these practices might make you feel ridiculous, but that's part of the joy. Notice the judgment that comes up when you act silly - and then let it go. Here are some easy ways to bring more laughter into your life:
Do laughter yoga. There are all kinds of videos with short laughter yoga practices. Even better, find a laughter yoga group in your area because laughing in real-time with real people boosts your energy.
Watch funny videos. Okay, this can be tricky, because you don't want to fall into the time-wasting abyss of social media. So set an alarm or decide to watch ONE five-minute video and then put your phone down. Bonus tip: Exaggerate your laughter for added benefits.
Hang out with kids. Kids love it when adults act silly. Laughing with children is easy. Act like animals, skip through the house singing, find different ways to laugh, create your own laughter games or just laugh AT the kids. That works, too.
Go to a comedy club. Live comedy is a great way to strengthen your laugh muscles. When you're in a room laughing with a bunch of people, that energy is off the charts. I try to go to live comedy shows at least once a month. Then I laugh until my face hurts.
Find a new comedian. There are tons of specials featuring stand-up comedians. Check out Netflix for a list of funny, funny people doing funny, funny things.
Take an improv class. Improv is a great way to interact with others and create laughter. With improv, you learn games, techniques and strategies to create stories, songs and adventures that are silly, stupid and ridiculous. But it's always fun.
Just laugh. That's right. Right now. Just start laughing. Your brain can't tell the difference between real and fake laughter, so you get the benefits either way. Just laugh.
Let me know what works for you and send me your own laughter practices!
Peri Kinder is the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching. She's a happiness coach, yoga and meditation instructor, and award-winning freelance writer. She is the host of the Life & Laughter podcast.