By Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Feeling cranky or sad? There is one thing that can snap you out of it in a nanosecond: Laughter. You can do it with anyone safely, and it’s mess free, drug free and it doesn’t require money.
A good laugh alleviates tension and makes you feel good all over. We can help heal ourselves – and our friends and family – with humor and laughter.
No matter how bad things get, or how awful they may seem, your world can change with the simple move of your facial muscles – a slight twitch of your lips that starts as a smile and grows into a big, loud, hilarious laugh.
Even if you are not in the mood to laugh, the act of laughing will make you laugh. Ready to reclaim your smile? Here are some simple ways to bring laughter to everyday life.
Excerpted from The Goddess Pages: A Divine Guide to Finding Love and Happiness (Llwellyn Books, 2008). Laurie Sue Brockway, all rights reserved.
When you applaud like your mean it you cannot help but smile and chuckle. Just the act of clapping can awaken your body and senses. Clapping makes you feel happy and joyous! Remember that favorite kiddie song: “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” So give yourself a hand as you begin your day!
Laugh with Friends and Family
You don’t have to be outrageous and totally wacky. Friends can share a laugh together over the most mundane and silly things. From the suburbs to the middle of Manhattan, we can always gather with a friend or two to share some laughter.
Share a Happy Meal
Just one breakfast meeting a week with people of a similar sense of humor is great medicine for the soul. Do you love jokes? Find friends who are good joke tellers and jokesters. Share funny stories, crack jokes, and enjoy. Stay in touch during the week by e-mailing each other the best Internet humor you can access.
Create a deck of “Happy Cards”
This may seem silly, but who cares? Happy thoughts come to those who can tap into the child within. Buy a pack of plain index cards and some pretty magic markers and write individual sayings, jokes and quotes that make you laugh and bring sunshine to your life and to others. Keep them in a special box, or a decorated coffee can, and reach in any time you need a laugh. Offer them to friends, like brownies, when they come to visit. Even if they laugh at you for having “Happy Cards” in a coffee can it is worth the effort.
Laugh Like Crazy
If you are with a small group of friends who are not feeling too peppy, or just one bummed out buddy or Debbie Downer type, and you want to break the bad mood…start laughing. This is not something you would NOT do at a funeral, obviously, but in a non-emotionally charged situation where the room, and people in it, need a new burst of energy and sunshine. Break out in laughter. Start slowly with a straight face, so they don’t even know what you are up you. Then formulate a smile…then turn it into a chuckle…then build into a contagiously happy laugh. They will think you are insane at first, until they can resist no more…the laughter will sneak up on them and out of them. Just keep laughing like crazy, and see if one person can resist the allure of that wild laughter. It will fill the room with a burst of laugher and sunshine!
Take Humor Risks
When you are stuck in your own thoughts, do something just a little wild to get out of it. And do the same thing to help a friend who needs a good laugh. The Greek Goddess Baubo once lifted her skirt and exposed her privates in order to get the heartbroken Demeter to smile again and bring the sun and flowers back to the earth. What can you do to top that?
Start a Good Mood Virus
Take the lead in spreading good cheer. When we allow ourselves to feel good and filled with joy, we radiate it. Just as our bad moods can be contagious, our good moods can pave the way for many miles of smiles. If we smile, people smile back; if we laugh, they chuckle too!
Every time the sun fades lift the sides of your mouth into a smile. Remember—you cannot be depressed when you are smiling.