This week I decided it was time for some of life’s best medicine – laughter! I used to think that it was just an “old wives tale” that laughter could cure disease, but I was inspired by a story of a woman who, upon hearing she had breast cancer, declined all treatment and went home, curled up on the couch in front of any and all funny movies she could find, and claims she “laughed herself better.”
This is not an isolated story by any means. There are many stories of laughter helping to cure cancer, eliminate diabetes, reduce stress…the list goes on. So how can we incorporate a few more laughs into our own lives? Here are just a few ideas to get you started!
- Read or listen to funny stories. Ditch the newspaper and the horror books and find a funny book to read. My personal favourite story-teller is Stuart McLean. Stuart can be heard on the CBC Radio here in Canada, and on Sirius Satellite Radio, and select stations in the US. But his stories are also available in book form and on audio. The stories from the Vinyl Café are truly laugh-out-loud…sometimes I laugh so hard I have tears streaming down my face! Visit www.cbc.ca/vinylcafe/home for more information.
- Blow bubbles. Truly there is nothing more “child-like” than blowing bubbles. It’s cheap, requires no batteries, and anyone can do it! I guarantee that it will get you giggling in no time as you huff and puff and blow bubbles all over the backyard!
- Buy candy. Yes, I know, I can hear you already – “what’s this natural health person doing telling me to buy candy?!?!” Well, the fact is, candy that reminds you of your childhood is also sure to make you chuckle. I remember how we used to pretend to smoke our Pop-eye cigarettes, and how we would get those giant sized Sweet Tarts that took forever to eat and caused our lips to pucker. Remember the thrill of having a quarter in your pocket and getting to spend it ALL on candy? You may need to take a loonie these days, but the fun of it will still remain.
- Get some fun friends. Hanging around with negative people – whether in person or on-line, will suck the happiness right out of you. Find yourself some funny people to be with or chat with. I have found a great group of women homeopaths on Facebook who, if they weren’t doctors, would be comediennes! Every day I spend 5 minutes reading and replying to their recent antics and I laugh the entire time. It’s balm for my soul.
- Fake it. It all else fails, fake a good laugh. I learned this trick from Donna Costa (www.donnacosta.com) who is a Laughter Yoga Leader (www.laughteryoga.org). She says if you can’t get a genuine laugh going, just fake it. Sit and ha-ha-ha out loud and soon, real laughter will bubble up because you realize how silly you sound! I have also read that consciously smiling will bring on a bout of laughter (and it will keep the people at the office guessing to see you sitting there with a goofy grin pasted on your face!).
So let’s make a commitment to one another, okay? Let’s commit to laughing more each and every day – fake or real, it doesn’t matter. Let’s just do it! I am certain it will improve our health, and our happiness!