Day 28 Laughter and Genuine Connection
What would you say the difference the sweetness is between eating a strawberry and a chocolate bar?
They are both sweet. One is natural and the other artificial.
There are a lot of ways that we can be happy and find joy. Think of ways that you do this: shopping, reading, movies, vacation, eating.
Of the items on your list, what brings you natural joy or artificial?
Laughter is an act that we can all do to bring us natural joy. It also can give us genuine connection with ourselves and others.
When was the last time that you laughed?
How often would you say that you laugh a day?
Why is laughter important?
There are all sorts of studies that prove the importance of laughter. Laughter gives us endorphins. Endorphins area group of hormones that are secreted within the brain and nervous system. They are structurally similar to morphine and considered natural painkillers because they activate opioid receptors in the brain that minimize discomfort.
We can get endorphins from exercise also. But how fun is it to get that amazing effect from the simple act of laughter.
I added in human connection also for today’s challenge because of the importance of getting the laughter from human interaction. There is nothing wrong with laughing a silly cat memes you find on Facebook or get a giggle from a cartoon.
Having personal interactions with other human beings is critical. I gave some examples in my video. Iceland turned all tv off one night a week in the winter to encourage people to get out and socialize when there is so much darkness. We need others. If you had a chance to check out the Happiness Lab (Yale course on happiness), she saw the raising numbers of young adults and adults who are experiencing more anxiety than in the past.
It is not difficult to make the connection between the increase in screens to the mental health issues we are facing. Yes I agree that we have always had mental health problems with cultural limitations to discussions, but the evidence is indisputable that mental health problems are on the rise with more people at an earlier age.
So here is the fun part. We get to decide how much we want to laugh. We get to decide how much we are going to connect with other people. We are the masters of our ship and can plan these interactions.
If you are retired do you belong to groups? Do you get together for lunch? Do you volunteer? What ways are you planning meaningful interactions that will bring you joy?
- I invite you to think back at the last time you laughed, like really laughed. Write it down. How did it make you feel?
- What are you going to plan to be in a position to laugh?
3. Do you have a favourite joke? Who are you going to share it with? When?