I believe that humor is abundant—at least most of the time. But I’ll admit there will be times when you can’t think of anything humorous to laugh about. What then? Laugh anyway.
Today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason.
Laughter is so good for us and provides so many benefits that if you don’t have a reason to laugh, you’ll want to laugh anyway. It’s okay if it’s not a real laugh. Even with a fake (simulated) laugh, you get loads of benefits: aerobic exercise for your heart, muscle relaxation, improved mood—just to mention a few. And frequently your simulated laugh may become a stimulated (or real) laugh.
We have neurons in our brains called mirror neurons. That’s why when we see or hear someone else laugh our brain messages us to laugh, too. Sitcoms often capitalize on this by putting a laugh track on their show—you hear the laughter and then laugh yourself—even if you didn’t find it that funny! Or you’ll be somewhere and hear someone else laugh—and you’ll start to giggle—even though you don’t know why the other person’s laughing! So try this challenge with your humor buddy, if you can. You’ll find that laughter is contagious and soon you’ll both be in stitches.
You can even do this laughter exercise in groups. A great resource for this is World Laughter Tour. There you can learn about lots of different laughter exercises that are fun and beneficial socially, psychologically, and physiologically. Laughter for no reason is a great multi-generational exercise. I’ve had participants range from toddlers to a gal who was 97 years old (and sharp as a tack!).
So today’s challenge: Laugh for no reason. Start with periods of 15 to 30 seconds. Then eventually over the next several weeks, work up to 2 minutes if you can! (Disclaimer: If you have recently had abdominal surgery, or suffer from a serious respiratory illness, check with your physician before laughing for extended periods of time. This will NOT cause hair loss, nausea, rashes, sleepiness, or loss of libido!)
That’s it. Congratulations on committing to exercising your sense of humor. I hope you’ll join me tomorrow for the next challenge. I’m Karyn Buxman reminding you to create a humor habit and reap the benefits. Humor is power!
Neurohumorist Karyn Buxman’s mission in life is to enhance global business, improve global health, and achieve global peace through strategic humor.