Laughter myths busted!
Myths about laughing aren’t obvious but can affect how we think, feel and behave when it comes to letting go…
We must be happy in order to laugh
This myth inhibits many people from laughing as they feel that it would be inauthentic or ‘false’ to laugh when they didn’t feel like it. If we wait for the perfect time to laugh, or wait for everything in life to be running smoothly, we may never laugh at all! Laughter can surprise us and offer relief in times of turmoil, sadness or even grief, if we allow it to.
We need something funny to happen before we can laugh
Comedy is great and can be the trigger for many a hearty chortle. Yet evidence shows that the majority of our laughter doesn’t come from jokes; it comes from day to day conversations and playfulness. If we wait for something funny to happen we may be waiting for a really long time.
Laughter is too good to leave to chance
Laughter is not a passive activity, it is a ‘total immersion, commitment to everyday happiness’ type of process. If we want to enjoy life to the full, we need to make our own happiness as we travel, rather than wait for the entertainment bus to show up.
We either have a natural propensity to laugh or not
It doesn’t matter if you’re a shy or introverted person, or if you haven’t laughed for a really long time – it’s not about who can laugh the longest, loudest or heartiest. It doesn’t matter if you feel you’ve lost your ability to laugh or you can’t remember the last time you laughed. The good news is, laughter is accessible to us all. It is a re-learnable skill that can be re-acquired, one chuckle at a time.
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3 ways to bring more laughter into your life
So what do we need in order to laugh? A mouth comes in very handy, but there are also three important factors…
Understanding how laughter can help us. We now know that laughter can help us mentally, physically, socially and emotionally in many different ways. Laughter is not just for fun (though that’s a huge reason!) – it is a healthy, natural tool that can ease our pain, free our spirit and strengthen us from the inside out.
- Being willing to laugh. Willingness is essential as it provides powerful energy in our mind, body and soul. If we nurture a laughter intention as we go through life this will enable us to feel lighter, stay playful and look on the bright side, instead of focusing on what has gone wrong. Being willing to laugh takes us halfway there.
- Giving ourselves permission to laugh.We’re allowed to laugh whenever we want. We don’t have to deserve it. We don’t need to have done something ‘right’ or ‘worthy’. We don’t need to be feeling joyful or happy. If we can stop putting conditions on our laughter then we can access laughter at any time of the day or night, if we so choose. We don’t always need to laugh in the same way, or with particular people or in certain locations. Our laughter doesn’t have to be real, or loud, or demanding.
- By gently dissolving the traditional and limiting beliefs associated with laughing we can open up the parameters of our laughter to discover new realms of freedom and adventure. Giving ourselves permission to laugh messily, clumsily, noisily, ridiculously, silently and for no apparent reason other than it feels good, may be a great place to start.