* Live a Little and Laugh a Lot

 

By Emily Sommers, MSW, Courier & Press, Sept. 12, 2017 –

A few weeks ago Dan, my significant other, came home and was in an upbeat mood and chiming, “Hee, Hee, Hee, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ho, Ho, Ho.”  The whole family ended up joining in at some point, and this activity created a lot of fun for us all to engage in.

Dan had been to his weekly Optimist meeting, and they had a guest speaker, Dr. Amodio, who taught laughter yoga.  Thank you for filling our home with another skill to use when we fall too seriously into daily life and demands, Dr. Amodio!

Dan described the activity they engaged in, all pretending to be on their cell phones and having a conversation with someone on the other end, walking in a circle around the room chiming, “Hee, Hee, Hee, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ho, Ho, Ho,” while embellishing the facial expression of each sound.  He really enjoyed it and was glad to share what he had learned!

 Laughter is being called the “new meditation” by a recent article in Times magazine.  Laughter has many emotional, mental and physical health benefits.

Time Health indicated studies that have shown laughter can act as an antidepressant, reduce the risk of heart disease and help reduce the body’s inflammatory response.  Sounds exactly like what the doctor might order!

Here is a list of some ways to use and apply laughter.  See if you might be inspired to add to the list…

  • Engage and play with your pet.  Animals can make us laugh and are usually loyally waiting if we let them!
  • Follow a comic strip daily, and better yet, picture that character when you make a mistake in an effort to not take yourself so seriously.  My favorite is “Blondie.”
  • Come up with a “Joke of the Day” theme in your home.
  • There are some great apps to download on your phone that can provide funny motivation, inspiration and daily chuckles.  These should be parent approved, of course.
  • If you usually watch a drama or suspense movie, treat yourself to a great comedy that can provide some laughs.
  • We all have that great friend who can bring us up when we are down or remind us to not take life too seriously.  Pick up the phone and give them a call…it will brighten and lighten the day for both of you.
  • Parents, play with your kids.  Kids, play with your parents.
  • Try karaoke.  We enjoyed this on a recent family vacation and it taps into the fun and creative sides of everyone involved.

Hopefully, this short list has gotten your wheels turning and inspired ways you can find more opportunities for laughter in your individual and family lives.  Have fun with it and, remember, practice makes permanent.