Remember when you were little and you found something funny? Remember how you would just guffaw, without regard for how you looked or sounded. Maybe you snorted. Maybe a little drool fell out of your mouth. Maybe you even tinkled your pants a little? Are you smiling yet?
When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides literally hurt?
Try this. Stop what you’re doing and force a ridiculous, loud outburst of laughter. Who cares who’s around or who might be watching or hear you. Just do it. Did you try it? Did you notice, that reflexive laughter took over? Do you feel better?
A March 8, 2005 at the American College of Cardiology recommends that we laugh on a regular basis for our health. Dr. Michael Miller of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore said, “Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system. The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be to exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day.”
Some fitness gurus even claim that a good hearty laugh is actually like a little workout. Your abs are engaged, your heart rate increases bringing oxygen to tissue, and you actually burn calories just like when you’re on the treadmill. And, most importantly, when you’re laughing heartily you are immersed in the present moment.
Just like taking a few breaths in the midst of crisis or anxiety, finding humor in the situation can minimize emotional and physical reactions to stress. Being able to laugh at yourself is an exquisite talent. As one of the worlds clumsiest people, I had to learn at a young age to laugh it off like the time I stepped on a moving treadmill at the gym and went flying off like a bad ’70s sitcom scene.
If the thought of shrugging off some of your most embarrassing moments with laughter seems too lofty a goal for now, start simple. Fill your environment with items that make you smile or laugh. Watch a funny movie every week. Surround yourself with people who laugh a lot. Laughter is, in fact, contagious. The company you keep affects the way you feel.
In yoga, try lion pose in the mirror and let me know if you can keep a straight face. If you can’t seem to get it together in Warrior III, chortle, rinse and repeat.
Whatever gets you cracking up, do it. Do it daily. If you need something to get started, I leave you with this video…Quad Babies Laughing.
– Your Charmed Yogi