Laugh More in 2016

In speaking engagements I use humor to inspire and engage my audiences. (Little known fact, I have performed stand-up comedy shows.) However, lately I have noticed there are days I am not laughing enough. Research shows kids laugh up to 415 times a day while adults laugh only 15 times. This year one of my goals is to laugh more. Besides, why should the kids have all the fun?

There are a lot of physical, mental, and social benefits to laughter. Being a serious adult with responsibilities, obligations, meetings, and traffic, it can be difficult to remember to lighten up every once in a while. In my book Water The Bamboo®, I even dedicate an entire chapter to lightening up (chapter 11, Lighten Up).

Laughter is an instant vacation.
— Milton Berle

Here's a 39 second clip to get you started:

It’s time to get serious about humor.

Benefits of Laughter

Physical Benefits

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits

  • Adds joy to life
  • Eases anxiety 
  • Reduces stress
  • Enhances one’s mood
  • Helps with resiliency

Social Benefits

  • Builds closer relationships
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Helps group bonding

5 Ideas to Laugh More Often

1. Hang out with people that make you laugh.
2. Keep a “humor file” of things that make you laugh (like the video clip above).
3. No need to be funny, just notice things and people that make you laugh!
4. Use positive humor (there’s no need to make fun of someone or be hurtful).
5. Don’t forget to laugh at yourself.

The best laughter is at no one’s expense.

How do you find laughter in your life? Please add to the conversation – comment below or on Twitter at @gregbellspeaks.