As the newest member to the team, I was both excited and nervous about the prospects of writing my first ever blog post. The theme of happiness, hmm… what could I write about? On a day-to-day basis I would consider myself a relatively happy person. But when am I most happy? If I really think about it, it’s when I’m laughing. It sounds obvious, but there’s nothing more euphoric than a good ole chuckle.
So, over the past fortnight, I’ve taken it upon myself to laugh more. After reading an article in the Journal of Nursing and Residential Care, I came to learn that there is in fact, a direct correlation between laughter, happiness and wellbeing. In fact, laughter has been known to positively affect your immune, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Amazing, a bit of ‘ha ha ha’ and, et voila, happiness AND health. I decided to put it to the test.
For 14 whole days I vowed to forcibly make myself laugh as soon as I woke up in the morning and just before I went to sleep at night. This slightly bizarre concept isn’t a new one, laughing clubs have been established around the world for many generations. Here, people gather together simply just to laugh and feel good about themselves.
I’ll admit, at first it all seemed very silly, however, I’m not one to argue with science so I persevered. I followed the advice of Robert Graham, a laughing consultant, who suggests that looking in a mirror, smiling and shouting ‘ha’ is a great way to trigger laughter, and in turn happiness. Graham also suggests various other techniques such as clapping or having access to photos or items that will trigger positive emotions. Follow some of Graham’s advice and before you know it, you’ll be giggling away. I guess the adage ‘fake it till you make it’ would be apt to describe the process. If anything, you’ll probably end up laughing at how ridiculous you look in the mirror, but laughing is laughing right? Whatever the source of laughter is, the aim is to capture and embrace that wholesome feeling of happiness, even if it is just for a few moments a day.
Two weeks on, I can report that my little experiment has been a success. While I am unable to determine whether my physical wellbeing has been directly affected, I can tell you, that laughing at the start and end of each day has had an extremely positive impact on my day-to-day wellbeing. I definitely underestimated the cathartic nature of laughter. Just a little laughter contributes to releasing the tensions of anything that may potentially stress me out in the day to come. By getting those all-important endorphins flowing, I now start my day with an optimistic frame of mind, ready to launch myself into the work waiting for me. Furthermore, now that I go to bed feeling happy, my sleep appears to be restful and undisturbed. Consequently, I have now created for myself, a beautiful cycle of happiness that I have no intention of breaking. So there you have it, a free life hack to happiness that I suggest you try, you won’t regret it!
By Kaira Shetty