Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

Get up. Go to work. Sit in traffic. Drive home. Sit in traffic. Go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. For most, this is a daily routine. While we always manage to find the time to work more, sleep less, and ignore our health, we never seem to make the effort to schedule time for pure, unadulterated silliness. Think about it: When was the last time you did something truly goofy, something that caused you to belly-laugh until it hurt? If you can’t remember, then you are overdue for some much-needed, healthy laughter.

The human need for laughter is a serious one, indeed. In fact, we can’t live without it. A multitude of studies proves that laughter is essential for both psychological and physical well-being. Some very serious scientists with gray beards and long white coats from the Mayo Clinic even said so. Laughter makes us feel good, it helps our relationships, and it burns calories, 40 calories per 15 minutes, to be exact. So, what can you do to bring more laughter in to your life?

Watch a Funny Movie With a Friend or Partner

Have you ever noticed that you laugh out loud more when you’re with someone else, than when you’re alone? Fire up the Netflix and put on your favorite comedy — the one that makes you laugh no matter how many times you watch it. Don’t forget to have someone enjoy it with you, so you can double your laugh quotient (chances are, they need a laugh, too).

Bring Someone Joy

You don’t need comedy to laugh. Sometimes, happiness bubbles up inside you until you find yourself with a serious case of the giggles. And if everything goes just right, your giggles will be contagious and make someone else laugh, too. Make someone’s day until they are so happy, they giggle. Surprise picnic lunches, fruit baskets, bouquets of flowers, and unexpected good deeds are all potential giggle-fits-from-happiness inducers.

Get Into a Tickle Fight With Your Kid

If anyone holds the keys to better living through laughter, it’s your child. Kids don’t hold back their joy, and they are all about fun. Sneak up and attack your child with tickles. Even if they can’t best your tickle superior prowess, their uncontrolled laughter will get your funnybone, too.

Make Time for Silliness

Making time for silliness means making time for the simple joys in life. Put on some music and dance with abandon in the kitchen. Crack more jokes. Have a contest with your partner to see who can make the craziest face, and then take pictures to commemorate the occasion. Dust off your hula-hoop and give it a whirl (it’s okay if you’re not good at it; the worse you are, the funnier it is). Never stop finding the fun in life. Laughing hard and often not only soothes the psyche, but spreads like wildfire and makes the world a better place to live. No kidding.