10 Tricks To Get Back to Laughing When Life Isn't Fun

Laughter

We all know that laughter has been proven to improve our health, both mentally and physically. At least I hope we all know that. If you don't, here's a litany of benefits to our physical wellness and longevity.

As a Tax Attorney's office, we help people who are going through a rough time. While we take our IRS problem-solving seriously, we also try to encourage laughter in order to "see the big picture." I do whatever is in my power to help them laugh. I believe laughter is Peace in practice. However, things like IRS debt can often throw one's desire to laugh "off track" to say the least. Here are ten tricks to get back to basics and bring more laughter into your life.

1) Remove negativity in your environment
Start with the most obvious. When you're feeling down, the last thing you need is for media to keep kicking you. I refuse to watch the news. Even at the gym on the treadmill with 20 screens in my face, I close my eyes and listen to upbeat music. The impending market crash and zombie apocalypse will ALWAYS be waiting for our eyeballs. Always. Tune in for a second if you absolutely must, but other than that, kill the television.

2) "Les" is more!

I listen to a lot of Les Brown. This guy is a rockstar in the public speaking world. And for good reason. He's inspirational and funny! Give Les a try. Here's a sample.

3) Start a gratitude journal
Focusing on things you’re grateful for can be a subtle way to invite laughter back into your life. What’s in your life that you’re really grateful for? Sometimes it’s as simple as breath, a comfy bed, clothes to wear, food to eat. Try doing a list of 10 items in the morning. Just look around the room. You'll probably be at #20 before you realize it. From there everything just looks and feels better. It's powerful. The final item on your list could be; "I'm grateful for my awesome laugh." Voila!

4) Watch funny YouTube videos
YouTube is a universe of laughter awaiting your exploration. You might want to start with this 55 seconds of laughter from Kid President. Keep clicking around until you're rolling on the ground.

5) Practice with others
Round up a friend or two and force yourselves to laugh. Like I said, force the laughter with the words "Ha ha ha ha." It works every time. My money is on you not making it to five seconds before everyone is rolling uncontrollably. Laughter is so contagious and we are designed to laugh together.

6) Spend time with children
Being around or simply listening to kids playing is pure magic. It's Spring. Kids are out and running and jumping and laughing hysterically practically anywhere there's green space. It's in these early years we learn how to really appreciate laughter, to truly understand it. As we get older we become calloused and place less value on it. The sound of little ones frollicing about is simply joyous. Let it take you back in time and laugh right along with them. 

7) Practice a silent giggle
Use a silent giggle by holding on to a thought that makes you want to laugh. Maybe it's a memory from years ago. Hold on to this thought. The trick to it is to be sincere with your level of joy from the silent giggle. Don’t force it. Just be in that place of joy that comes from the feeling. You'll radiate an aura of levity, people will be drawn to you and, before you know it, you'll find yourself laughing and joking. 

8) People watch
Go out and watch your fellow humans. You are bound to see something that will make you laugh and smile. We are the silliest creatures on the globe. My girlfriend and I often watch other folks, typically in a restaurant or while we're waiting in a line at Target. We fabricate a storyline for their lives. And not in a disparaging way. If we see an older couple it's; "Oh, you know they met in high school and got married at 19. He got a job at GM thanks to his dad. She worked at K-Mart for 30 years and made a small fortune with her crocheted lap warmers. They had twelve kids, all of their names begin with Z." You get the picture. It's creative and fun and funny. 

9) Do really silly stuff
Do something really silly – or something you might have done as a kid for no reason other than your own amusement. Just force yourself to do it. Preferably in public, as if your life depends on it. 
Some suggestions are:
- Spontaneous dancing. It's impossible to be upset and dance simultaneously. 
- Humming a melody, preferably one you make up in the moment.
- Talking in a funny accent ("Vaht iz dis delooshoosh teeng called za Vendy Burger?!").
- Singing just loud enough for people to hear you while you're shopping. Go for the high notes.
- Saying words like "Bippitybopadoo" or "Skiddlyzipzipmakaw" out loud. Make one up. 
- More spontaneous dancing. 

10) Create something
Craft something. Anything. Draw on a piece of paper. String paper clips together and make a necklace for your co-worker, spouse or a stranger. Gift them with it and say; "I needed to make something for myself, but I want to give it to you just because." Say it with meaning. If you get a strange look, Victory! However, nine times out of ten, people will smile or laugh and be really touched by it. Guarantee: You'll smile and laugh too.  

Milton Berle, the legendary comedian, said; "Laughter is an instant vacation." I hope you can put some of these to use in order to take said vacation. As often as you like. Bookmark this page for future reference and share it with a friend. The world is never too full of laughter and life is too short to lose your ability to do it. Laughter is serious business. 

(by Andy Turpen)