While going through one of life’s rough patches, I noticed I wasn’t laughing much anymore. Okay, it was worse than that: I was actually finding myself annoyed at the sound of laughter wafting down the hallway in my apartment building, and out on the streets. I knew I needed help. So I sought out advice from my community. I was able to find simple ways to put laughter back into your life, and mine.

Here are some of their very wise answers:

Watch funny YouTube videos

By far, the number one answer was to tap into the laugh-inducing parts of YouTube. You’ll see a few examples here in this post, but you might want to start with this 55 seconds of laughter from Kid President:

Tune into sitcoms or sketches (on TV or Radio)

Type “Comedy” into Pandora and you will have tons of amazing comedians doing 2–5 minute sketches. Keeps me in stitches! ~ Sophie Boselly

One thing I have done when feeling this way is watching stupid, silly, frivolous videos on YouTube, or sitcoms online. Seems like a small step, but it lightens up my mood. ~ Ko-Shin Musica

Look up some of Jack Handy’s Deep Thoughts from old SNL. I was having a very frustrating negotiation this week and this really helped me. ~ Ana Micka

Start a gratitude journal

Focusing on things you’re grateful for, rather than on things that have been bothering you (like anger, or grief) can be a subtle way to invite laughter back into your life.

Start with gratitude – what’s in your life that you’re really grateful for? (Sometimes it’s as simple as breath, a comfy bed, clothes to wear, food to eat.) ~ Samantha Nolan-Smith

Create a Pinterest board

I have two go-to, make-me-happy things! 1) YouTube videos 2) I keep a Pinterest board on funny things. Sit down for a good 30 minutes with either of these and I am good to go! ~ Andrea Travillian

Don’t force laughter

Don’t force it. Pushing through the bumps or resisting them doesn’t get us anywhere. Better to accept: I’m in a funk now, that’s OK. Welcome the funk, have a chat with it, let it know it’s welcome to stay and then just get on with your day. Accepting what is is the quickest route to transforming it. ~ Samantha Nolan-Smith

Force yourself to laugh

Yes, I know it’s a direct contradiction to my last point, but listen to this reasoning. It may be as simple as smiling, even if it feels fake for a while.

Force yourself to laugh at something, but do it in a big, forced laugh and make it as weird as possible. You will start laughing for real. I promise. It works every time. ~ Lauren Kesseler Doyle

Spend time with children

Being around kids does it for me. Watching them discover new things is the best. ~ Malaika Paul

As for the laughter thing. My top tip is to find children to play with or watch them play. Nothing like the sweet innocence of childhood to help shed our grumpy Grinch goblins. ~ Henna Datta

Practice a silent giggle

Use the silent giggle by holding on to your thought that makes you giggle. Don’t let it go. You will express absolute joy with your eyes and people are drawn to you. The trick to it is to be sincere with your level of joy from the silent giggle. Don’t force it and don’t come off as if you are laughing at anyone. Just be in that place of joy that comes from the giggle. ~ Rhonda Lee

Spend time with pets

Playing with my dog and watching her play with other dogs. Volunteer at a dog shelter and socialize with the puppies. You won’t be able to help yourself. ~ Natalia Real

photo credit: Canoozle Pets via photopin cc

People watch

Go out and people watch. You are bound to see something that will make you laugh and smile. We can be pretty silly beings. ~ Sharon Otness

Go to a cat show. The people watching there is over the top. ~ Rowan TwoSisters

One thing she suggests is to listen to people laugh. Like, watch videos or get recordings of people just laughing – nothing else – and listen. She said it would get you to laugh, too. Well, to be honest…I was not sure whether I believe that…just listening to laughing would not make me laugh, right? Until I watched this video. If you make it through it without cracking a smile you are in serious trouble! ~ Ursula Markgraf

Spend some time reading

Also, not sure if poetry is your thing. But here’s one of my poems that may help clear some of those cobwebs that are temporarily dimming you. ~ Henna Datta

Get a fun tattoo

Danielle ~ Moustache Tattoo

You’ve heard of tattooing a special note on your forehead so that you don’t forget something? Try out Danielle’s tip for remembering to laugh.

I know this is dorky but I got a mustache tattooed on my finger as a way to keep me laughing. When I start to get stressed out with all the grown-up responsibilities like raising kids, keeping up with work, paying bills and maintaining the household, I just look at myself in the mirror and raise my finger to my upper lip. It’s hard not to laugh when you see yourself sporting a sweet ‘stache. ~ Danielle Ford

Go after the funny!

My answer is not to take yourself or anyone else too seriously. Step back and see the ridiculous in it all. Then go after the funny! Read funny blogs – The Oatmeal, Buzzfeed, Reddit, Funny or Die. Lastly, watch stand up comic specials. Eddie Murphy Raw. Richard Pryor. Bill Cosby. Lisa Lampanelli. Sarah Silverman. Seinfeld. Sandler. Roseanne. Watch reruns of the Carol Burnett show. Old SNL skits on YouTube. Anything parody or observational that is relatable and irrelevant. Go after laughter and study it like a science. It’s easy and quick. ~ Jessica Kupferman

Do something really silly – or something you might have done as a kid

Some great suggestions are:

  • cartwheels
  • skipping
  • talk in a funny accent
  • sing really loud in the bathroom
  • embarrass yourself
  • roll down a hill, in the grass, leaves or the snow
  • throw popcorn or M&Ms into a friend’s mouth

 I allow my inner 4-year-old to have her tantrum about whatever is sucking at the moment, complete with the racy vocabulary this 42-year-old has acquired. I mean all out tantrum! It’s usually pretty funny. ~ Wendy Reese

I suggest doing something that you loved as a kid and haven’t done in a long, long time. Do that thing and immerse yourself in it – no thinking other thoughts. Just observe the sky, your feet, the movement. Sometimes, it’s the body that remembers the pleasure that the mind forgets. ~ Julia Price McPherson

I would say do something silly you only think about but never dare to. Example, make a “I’m a rock star/diva” video of yourself lip-syncing to your favorite song with all of your being into it. You don’t have to show it to anyone, just do it. ~ Dali Rivera

 

Remove negativity in your environment

I stop watching the news, hide people in my news-feed who are chronically negative, I stop reading magazines that make me feel crappy, I turn off sad music…turning down the volume on all of these helps amplify the great things in my life that bring me laughter. ~ Jodi McMurray

Create something

Craft something beautiful, or something that makes you laugh, or something to give to a friend or loved one. We’re not looking for perfection here, just pleasure. ~ Judy Tweal

Do something creative that you’re really bad at! If you can’t draw, get the pencils out. Can’t sing? Go for it really loudly in the car or the shower, or wherever you like. When we’re kids we do things just because they’re fun and they feed our creative spirit. The magic is in the doing not the results. Laugh heartily at your drawing that makes a man’s head look like a pumpkin. Crack up that you are totally and completely off-key. It’s still fun and it frees you. ~ Suzanne Dosal Gray

Get outside and do something

Exercise…it really helps! Get out an walk in nature, or run or, especially, dance. Zumba has gotten me through some tough days! ~ Lisa Bloom

Work out first thing in the morning. You can’t believe the ideas it generates. Plus it doubles as meditation time (for me). I often listen to inspirational podcasts and audiobooks (Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work). ~ Sophie Boselly

Listen to music or dance

This song always helps me when I’m feeling down. ~ Gillian Byers

Put on some fun, ‘dancey’ music and just let go in the middle of the workday! Sing out loud – you will laugh at yourself. Better yet, dance with your dog. I can’t help but giggle when my chihuahua is my dance partner. ~ Sophie Boselly

Check out 24HourofHappy.com for a full day of happy dance music

24hoursofhappy

Hopefully these suggestions help you as much as they helped me. Here’s to simple laughter in your life and mine.

Laughter is a powerful (and free!) medicine that you’re not taking enough of. 9 Surprising Benefits Of Laughter You Need To Know

Featured photo credit: Ignatius244 via photopin cc, sideshowmomvia Flickr, Canoozle Petsvia Flickr, h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

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