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“Help comes when you need it most. I’m cured by laughter” (Waltzing Along, James; 1997)

Laughter is natural, and we are all born with it as a skill. Children laugh more than 10 times as much as adults during a day. So what happens to laughter as we age?

Encouraging The Child Within

We become consumed by responsibilities and obligations, we contemplate the future or dissect the past instead of enjoying the present.

If, however, we can learn to be playful and childlike, retaining a sense of wonder, we can make use of all our senses. We are then able to laugh at the colourful and surprising. Singing, dancing, writing, drawing or gardening amongst many other things can all bring happiness, and laughter, if we give ourselves permission to live in the moment.

Benefits of Laughter

What are the benefits of laughing regularly? There have been many studies, and recent research has shown that laughter:

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Releases natural pain-killers (endorphins) and reduces stress hormones in the body
  • Acts as an aerobic workout for the heart and lungs
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation
  • Releases tension, promoting relaxation and deeper sleep
  • Cleanses the body of stale air and toxins
  • Increases levels of positivity, creativity and energy
  • Provides an antidote to anxiety and worry, giving us fresh perspective
  • Re-motivates us and lifts our spirits

Re-Learning Laughter

If the will is there, it is good to know that laughing can be re-learnt as a long-lost skill. The body cannot distinguish between a fake laugh and a real laugh so, either way, endorphins are released and create an instant feel-good feeling. Practised regularly, laughing becomes more natural and spontaneous. It doesn’t make problems go away, but it makes it easier for us to deal with them.

We can also learn to laugh for no reason, even on ‘the bad days’. This is a powerful notion. It means that, in theory, there is not even a need for a sense of humour. When we are happy, laughter transmits from our soul. This is because the outer projection reflects the inner life. As the two are inextricably linked, the outer will also to varying degrees affect our inner lives. Try an experiment – just simply, in a quiet moment, smile to yourself. You will notice that it radiates inwards and makes you feel more positive.

Laughter cuts across all boundaries and cultures. It connects people and allows open and trusting relationships to be built. Regardless of age or gender, laughter links us all to the present and each other. It releases anger and tension, allows us to express our joy and releases us from the mundane. As a good friend of mine always says ‘life is all about having fun’. Whilst I’d suggest there’s also many other things to life, it’s a good starting point and laughter is the catalyst to creating the fun that many of us crave. What’s there not to like?

If you are unable to create the laughter in your life that you feel you deserve, then please contact me for a free initial discussion about whether life coaching would be appropriate for you to facilitate positive change.

I will be running a series of positive transformation workshops later in the year with my colleague, Gina Mayolin. If you would like to receive updates, please leave your email address below.
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