Three Ways To Laugh More

Boost your brain chemistry with the natural power of laughter. Laughter is healthy because it stimulates endorphins. Real laughter is what it takes to trigger the chemical. You have more power over your laughter than you think. Here are three things you can do by giving yourself the gift of laughter.

Fill up on fun and funny things

We fill up on healthy snacks to avoid giving in to junk food, and similarly, you can fill up on comedy to avoid giving in to gloom. It may seem inappropriate that laughter needs prior preparation, but once the bad mood hits, you're not motivated to watch comedy. And even if you do watch, anything you find may seem "not funny." So take the time togather funny stuff on a good day, so it'll be ready in case a bad day hits.

Store the humorous stuff in an easily accessible place to have it in case you need it. Fill your phone with comedy before a medical treatment or a tough challenge at work. Buy yourself tickets to a comedy show so you have something to look forward to after a tough time. You'll help your brain shift from negative to positive.

Put your sense of humour first

Humour is individual. If you want to laugh, you have to make time for what you love.

You don't need to justify your taste. You don't need to excuse your indulgence in your own sense of humor . We can accept our individuality and give ourselves permission to honor it. If you truly enjoy sharing entertainment, schedule sharing time separate from your laughter time. Making room for whatever makes you cringe will free you from resentment of others for not sharing your taste. And it feels good!

A word of warning about bitter humor and anger is necessary. Like an addiction, it can feel good in the short term, but also worse in the long term. Experiment with humor that is not angry. This can be hard to find! That's why rule #1 is so important: you have to invest time in collecting it in advance.

Don't hold back your laughter

Do you hold back your laughter because you think it sounds stupid? Many people do. Maybe you think your teeth are bad or you don't want to look frivolous.

Once you start suppressing laughter, it becomes automatic and you don't know you are doing it. You can rewire this habit, but it takes time and effort. Start by noticing others' laughter and thinking positively about it. If you notice that you are criticizing other people's laughter, make a conscious effort to find the joy and freedom it expresses. Once you can be positive about other people's laughter, your mirror neurons will help you be positive about your own laughter. It takes a lot of repetition to rewire a deep body impulse, so don't give up.

Endorphin is the brain's natural opioid.

The word endorphin means "endogenous morphine". Endorphin evolved to mask pain, not to make you feel good. When a gazelle is bitten by a predator, endorphin allows it to run for its life. It's not funny! The point is that laughter shakes the deep 'intrinsic' muscles that rarely work, and that triggers a tiny bit of endorphin. A tiny bit is not a high like the "runner's high". Our brains didn't evolve to be endorphin rich all the time. It's only there in an emergency. Runners only get a high if they run to the point of pain. That's not a healthy long-term strategy. We'd better be grateful for the little drops of endorphin, knowing that we can always trigger more endorphin, safely with more laughter.

Laughter as a prophylactic laugh

Prophylactic writing can help prevent a negative spiral. Bad things can happen at any time. Your loved one can break up with you. Your employer can go bankrupt. Your health can deteriorate. We need to be ready with a reliable but healthy way to feel good.

You may think it's silly to laugh in an emergency. Butthe protective value of laughter is clear when you understand how we deal with bad news. Your brain releases cortisolwhen you perceive a potential threat. We are often told that cortisol motivates animals to run for their lives, but before an animal runs, it scans for more information. When a gazelle smells a lion, it looks for details to know which way to run. When your cortisol goes off, your brain is looking for details about the threat. Your big brain is very good at finding evidence of threat when it appears.

Cortisol stays in your system for about an hour. During this time, everything you look at will seem bad because your brain is guided to look for threats. You may trigger more cortisol and another hour of threat-seeking. A cortisol spiral can result. You can protect yourself from the spiral by having a safe and convenient way to trigger good feelings. Once a good feeling is triggered, your brain is guided to look for positives instead of just negatives. Laughter is a great tool in times of crisis!

Tags: laughter, endorphin, brain, cortisol, Trigger, comedy, Spiral, rewire, BIT, prophylactic, PAIN, hits, Bad, endogenous, runs, Morphine, mask, Bad news, HEALTH, predator, intrinsic muscles, runner, bankrupt, negatives, Opioid, brain chemistry, endorphins, chemical, junk food, Bad day, Humour, LOVE, indulgence, taste, feels good, addiction, teeth, Freedom, mirror neurons, impulse, Boost,
In French: Trois façons de rire davantage
En español: Tres maneras de reírse más
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