When we laugh we instantly feel uplifted, helping to reduce stress and improve low mood. Laughter can also help improve long-term physical wellness too, including our immune system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and brain function to name a few. When we laugh muscle tension starts to release and we immediately feel more relaxed.
It’s amazing really – as the body doesn’t recognise the difference between real and fake laughter, even a fake laugh can have a great impact. Scientists have also found that laughter isn’t always about humour but about relationships, as a natural communication tool that enhances our relationships with the people around us.
Here are several ways you could incorporate more laughter in your daily routine:
Watch something that makes you smile or laugh.
This could be your favourite comedy or short comical clips from YouTube or Social Media. Looking through happy photos and videos of fun memories with family and friends can also do the trick. Share these with friends and family to spread the joy.
Listen to a comedy podcast.
There are a number of comedy podcasts available to chose from – find one that suits your humour and listen along when carrying out your daily activities or whilst taking time out to relax.
Call a friend.
Pick up the phone to your most positive, upbeat friend and share some funny stories from the day.
Try a laughter yoga exercise.
This may feel a little strange at first but also great fun. One example to try with friends or family is ‘Remote Control Laughter’ – it’s a great one to try with the kids! Choose someone in your group to have the the ‘remote control’. When they press ON everyone must laugh and when they switch OFF everyone must stop. Try playing with ‘volume’ too!
During lockdown, ActivCare launched an online Level 1 Seated Laughter Yoga course to train care professionals to become leaders in Seated Laughter Yoga. To celebrate the launch we ran a competition to win a free place on the course by sending a video if residents laughing.
The winners were picked at random but the entries were phenomenal, a lot of contagious loather was spread across the ActivCare team that day.