I believe laughter truly is the best medicine. Uncle Albert says it perfectly in Mary Poppins when he sings, “The more I laugh the more I fill with glee, and the more the glee the more I’m a merrier me.” Yeah, okay, I realize that’s silly but it’s true. I mean laughter makes you happy or at least it makes you happier than if you’re not laughing.
According to Web M.D. and healthguide.org, laughter has been proven to reduce your stress, lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system, improve brain function and protect your heart. I would even go so far as to say that laughter, or your sense of humor, has the ability to save your life. Saranne Rothberg is a perfect example of this. She’s a founder and CEO of the Comedy Cures Foundation and a Stage 4 Cancer Survivor. To me that’s an amazing inspiration. She used what’s called Therapeutic Comedy as a coping tool.
The business benefits of your sense of humor and your ability to laugh are huge. It helps to connect you to others, such as your clients or coworkers, and helps to reduce sales resistance and tension. Think about it. If you can get someone to laugh, they’re a lot more likely to do business with you, open up to you and learn from you. It makes people feel good.
How do we bring more laughter into our lives and improve our sense of humor?
First off, you have to stop taking yourself so seriously. I call it getting rid of your cool card. You know, we all have a cool card. Some of our cool cards are a lot bigger than others. We’ve just got to get rid of them. We’ve got to burn it up, throw it away, tear it, flush it down the toilet.
Second, spend your time with people who have successfully incorporated humor into their lives. Be around people who already have a good sense of humor. It has been proven you are who you surround yourself with. Therefore, surround yourself with positive people, people who are going to make you laugh, that are going to build you up and you will soon you will begin to be like them.
Watch funny things such as comedies, funny movies or comics on CD. Two thirds of the movies in my movie collection are comedies. Some suggestions for comedians on CD are Brian Regan and clearly Bill Cosby, two hilarious comedians I love to listen to. When you need a boost, pop in a funny movie or CD.
Next, learn to laugh about the challenging or difficult situations in your life. You know we all have them. If we can find the humor in a situation no matter how difficult, we can reduce the emotional stress that we go through. Your other option is to cry. If I had a choice between crying and laughing, I’ll choose to laugh.
Lastly, make a wall of gratitude. I got this idea from Zig Zigler. It’s a collection of pictures people who have had a positive impact on my life and I keep it in my office. Every time I see it, it makes me smile, it lifts me up and sometimes it makes me laugh.
So if you’ll apply just a couple of these techniques, you will definitely be a happier and a healthier person. It’s virtually impossible to not experience more joy if you add more laughter in your life so what are you doing? Get out there and make yourself laugh.