It’s that time of the year when we make new year’s resolutions and here’s one that doesn’t cost money, won’t add calories and you don’t have to sweat over it unless you do it for a long time: Have a Laugh!
Talking to Dr. Lee Berk the other day from Loma Linda University, he was explaining scientifically how the body responds to laughter and music as related to brain activity. It’s fascinating to learn about the research. For years, Dr. Lee Berk and his staff have been measuring the effects of laughter therapy. In the past they measured through videos and blood pressure reading.These days they are measuring brain activity and the research will be coming out in detail this year. These are exciting times for brain research and evidence based humor.
I talked to him about practical uses. If you want your student to do well, tell them some jokes or have them watch funny clips before a test. A great stress reliever for me is Ellen Degeneres clips. I find myself laughing out loud.
Want your house to get creatively cleaned? Turn on music that’s fun and lively, it will help. Music has the same kind of reaction for the body that laughter does, it lowers the stress hormones and gives you an overall good feeling. Do you want to think better at work or more creatively solve problems? Watch the corny show America’s Funniest Home Videos. You can’t just do this once a month, you need to do some laughter everyday. Dr. Berk compared it to exercise. You can’t go running for 15 minutes once and expect results that can make a difference. Laughter has to become a daily practice.
I suggest you learn more about it by coming to the conference for the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor. This year it’s in Mesa, AZ April 7-10. AATH.org. Try to get your boss to pay for it! You will all benefit by bringing back things to work that will lighten up not only the atmosphere, but your demanding load by using levity.
I remember asking comedian Louie Anderson about what was the best part of his job. He answered, “It feels good to make people laugh even for a few minutes. I know when they are laughing, they are getting a break from their challenges and just enjoying the moment.” I know I’ve experienced that too when I hear the roaring laughter of an audience or a collective sigh from them laughing so hard. Love that!
In 2016, I am going to make myself laugh every day. Join me?