A simple discipline to de-stress

Have you laughed today?

Of course, you have, right? If you haven’t let this be a reminder to you because one of the reasons adults don’t laugh is because adults have forgotten how to laugh. Well, with all the obligations, stresses and the stew of activities that we schedule into our days, it’s no wonder we’ve forgotten how to include a good belly laugh into our day.

According to a study, the average adult laughs about 15 times a day at the most, if ever, while the average four-year-old laughs 300 times a day.

Sure the gap between the responsibilities of the two subjects is obvious but wouldn’t you agree that the gap between the frequency of the numbers is a little too sad? I think it is.

Adulting can be fun

Laughter has been shown to elevate mood, promote creativity and bring about a boost of energy in humans. We’ve heard about these qualities that come with laughter, yet, we’ve forgotten. Let’s remedy this once and for all.

Comedian Steve Martin reportedly laughs for five minutes in front of his mirror every morning.

“I laugh to get my creative juices flowing and to start my day on a high note.” — Steve Martin

I’ve read about how in some clinics laughter therapy has been used to cure illnesses and in some cases to even heal serious ailments. A simple thing like laughter can do that? I’d like to believe that we can all tap into such therapy and benefit from it as well. Why not give it a try?

“We don’t laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.” — William James, the father of modern psychology.

In past articles, I’ve alluded to the fact that I don’t have a funny bone in my body. And I really believe it’s true. I cannot tell a joke. And because of that belief, I love to look for every chance to laugh about something. It’s my purpose, every day. And more times than not, I find something to laugh about.

It helps to mention that my husband also believes in purposefully searching for reasons to laugh. In fact, he is the one who introduced me to such an idea that I gotta tell you has served us well throughout our twenty-eight years of marital bliss.

Here’s how we do it

Every day we share something with each other that we find funny about our day. Be it a funny ad, a cartoon screenshot, an old memory of something our boys did, or the catchy tune of a song we no longer remember the lyrics to, we make it a point to share it.

For instance, today he whistled to me that tune about Hitler; you know, the one about Hitler having one big ball. Then when we tried to sing it we realized we couldn’t remember who the song mentioned as having the two small ones. Haha.

And that was our ‘funny’ today. Lame, you say? That’s okay; lame is fine for us.

Sure, a quick google search would alleviate the situation by reminding us who that poor soul with the small ones was, but you know what, it really doesn’t matter who it was. We will continue poking fun at that tune and the slip of memory to make each other laugh for years to come.

When the lights are turned off and we slip into bed each night we make it a point to remind each other about the funnies we stumbled upon during the day. And this is how we go to bed smiling every night.

“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.” ~Proverb — courtesy of Richart Morgans

In the link above, Richart offers 11 suggestions. I second his suggestions and add one of my own.

How to get started

You like the Three Stooges or Charlie Chaplin; cartoons, or bloopers; baby-animals or human babies antics? Don’t be afraid to collect a few of those for when you need them. And go, dip into them on purpose when you have a few free moments in the course of your day.

The more you dip into your collection the sooner you’ll notice how you start to feel happier. The awareness of tapping into humor will make you begin to see the lighter side of things and this, in turn, will impact your stress level in all your creative and professional pursuits. A simple discipline like this will elevate you to a whole new realm of mindful living and it will help reduce anxiety and stress that comes from fulfilling adult obligations.

Make it a habit. Purposefully reconnect to your playful side and allow yourself a good honest-to-goodness belly laugh.

Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash

Hi, thanks for reading. 
I’ve missed everyone. I hope I can catch up with all the big changes I feel have taken place in the two months I’ve been away from Medium.
Hope my article today about this simple discipline adds some value to you. Let’s laugh more often.
I Wish You Miracles, Selma.

Selma is a retired Fifty-something enthusiast of positive thinking. She’s a long time resident of Japan. Visit Selma at IntricaciesAndFollies.com.
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Selma is a retired Fifty-something enthusiast of positive thinking. She’s a long time resident of Japan. Visit Selma at IntricaciesAndFollies.com.

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