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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 September 16, 2020

        3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

        3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

        In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

        Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

        Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

        Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

        These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

        So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

        It boils down to these four essential requirements:

        • Emotional empowerment
        • Aligned attraction
        • Sexual functioning
        • You and your partner

        While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

        Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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        1. Emotional Empowerment

        A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

        You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

        Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

        By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

        As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

        When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

        Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

        Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

        2. Attraction in Alignment

        Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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        We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

        According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

        “When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

        Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

        “If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

        This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

        “If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

        In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

        It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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        While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

        Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

        Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

        Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

        “Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

        In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

        • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
        • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
        • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
        • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

        According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

        Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

        3. Sexual Function

        Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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        Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

        Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

        While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

        One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

        What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

        This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

        A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

        Final Thoughts

        The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

        While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

        After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

        More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

        Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

        Reference

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