Chuckling, howling, chortling, laughing, sniggering, tittering, guffawing, cracking up. Whatever you call it, there’s no denying how good laughter makes us feel.
I lost my laugh for many years when I was drinking. When my world was dark and blurry round the edges, but I’ve written before about ‘finding my laugh’ in sobriety and I have tried not to let it go since. But it’s hard sometimes.
I don’t know about you but when I feel a bit blue I sometimes like to dwell in it for a while, listen to some sad tunes (Whitney, Mariah, any artist with the first name of James usually does the trick) and let the tears roll. But then there comes a time when you need to snap out of it and carry on, and for that I find a good old belly laugh really does the trick.
Sometimes it’s easier said than done. The last couple of months have been particularly hectic for me; I’ve moved house, moved area, moved in with a new partner (Mr M), acquired two step kids, and been really busy with work and travelling a lot with it. Don’t get me wrong it’s been a brilliant few months but it’s definitely had its tough moments. Moments where I have forgotten how to laugh and enjoy life and allowed it all to get on top of me.
This isn’t ideal because I love a good chuckle, and it has so many benefits!
- It stimulates you and makes you feel awake! By boosting your oxygen intake, chortling helps give your entire body a wakeup call and help you feel energised!
- Snickering helps you stress less. Negative stress produces stress hormones in the body that laughter decreases. So Simba was right to ‘laugh in the face of danger’.
- Tittering triggers the release of endorphins – which are our body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals (no booze or drugs needed to have a boost of these bad boys!)
- It boosts the immune system by increasing immune cells and antibodies that fight infection – which will help us fight nasty viruses and disease.
- Chuckling burns calories (hmm not so sure about this one). Apparently laughing for 10 mins a day can burn approx. 40 calories.
- It feels amazing!!
All these benefits it’s a wonder that no one’s invented a laughter app, like they have jumped on the bandwagon of meditation apps. Maybe I should patent that?
Sometimes I need a little help to get hilarity back in my life, so I thought I would share my top tips that help give me the teehee’s in no time. I use this if I am feeling a bit blue and sometimes if I have meetings or presentations I am particularly nervous about I will go into my banter bank and pull out one of these tools to help alleviate the anxiety.
- YouTube – cat videos. Any. Hilarious.
- Think of the funniest thing that has happened in the last week – funny memories are best recalled in really public places when alone.
- Google Bad Lip Syncing, you won’t be disappointed.
- Call a friend and just talk.
- Listen to a child under 5, for just 15 mins you are guaranteed to hear something that makes you cackle. Better choose a child you know though, don’t just follow an unknown one in your local playground.
- YouTube your favourite comedian. My favourites that always get me laughing are Katherine Ryan and Celeste Barber. You can check them out on Insta for a quick burst of the teehees. I’ve been lucky enough to see both live and I literally left feeling amazing!
- If you see someone that needs a good laugh try telling a funny story to get them giggling – it’ll help you too.
- Equally – if you see someone that looks like they are having the time of their lives go and join them. Laughter is infectious after all!
So next time you are feeling glum, allow yourself a bit of wallow time, let the boohoos out then turn them into a burst of bubbly laughter.