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18 Simple Ways To Put Laughter Back Into Your Life

18 Simple Ways To Put Laughter Back Into Your Life

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.

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      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

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      24hoursofhappy

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

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

        For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

        If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

        Example 1

        You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

        You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

        In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

        Example 2

        You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

        People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

        You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

        Example 3

        You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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        The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

        Example 4

        You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

        Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

        If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

        Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

        • Understand your own communication style
        • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
        • Communicate with precision and care
        • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

        1. Understand Your Communication Style

        To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

        In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

        Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

        2. Learn Others Communication Styles

        Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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        If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

        “How do you prefer to receive information?”

        This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

        To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

        3. Exercise Precision and Care

        A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

        On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

        Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

        I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

        I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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        In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

        The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

        Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

        4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

        Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

        In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

        “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

        Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

        Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

        It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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        It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

        It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

        Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

        Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

        The Bottom Line

        When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

        I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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        Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

        Reference

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