A Journey Towards Well-Being
The Laughter Effect
Have you ever been in a yoga or meditation class…only to find someone else has the giggles and the next minute you’re in hysterics for, well, no reason? (Just so you know, the only reason I didn’t get kicked out of this class was because it was my last one- plus the laughter effect spread to the instructor as well. I know, I kind of opened my eyes to see if she was laughing, and I swear she was trying to hold it in!)
Laughter can literally be contagious. (Who knew there were things that you actually wanted to be contagious?!) But you can also catch other emotions. (Think happiness as your flu shot against the unhappy emotions but sometimes new strains pop up and can infect you regardless.) Even if you’re the world’s most positive person (eg. Flanders from the Simpson’s) you can still be brought down by others’ lack of positivity.
So, if you’re not a positive person lately or are feeling sad and down, my best (non-doctoral) advice is to watch or read funny things during these times. My personal favourite is watching Friends on repeat or looking at jokes on the internet. Occupy your mind with humour and you will find yourself laughing- even if you want to stay in a miserable mood. (Hey, it happens!)
Another tip (that I also need to take into consideration!) is to drop the self-deprecating humour. While it is helpful to laugh at yourself sometimes (if the alternative is to cry), it is not helpful to repeatedly put yourself down even with the tiniest of comments. None of “well, I’m a klutz so it was bound to happen”- even if you truly ARE a “klutz” it’s not fair to you to label yourself as less than.
So, I’m going to get off my soap box here and go laugh at some silly stuff. I encourage you to do the same!
But in case you can’t muster up the energy to google silly jokes, I will entertain you with one of my favourite jokes.
What do you get when you cross a Collie and a Rottweiler?
A dog who bites your arm off, then goes to get help!
About the Author
Tara Richardson is a Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario. Her own personal journey through mental illness has led her to be a passionate and dedicated advocate for mental health recovery. Tara is an aspiring author who is in the (long) process of writing and editing her memoir compiled from journal entries beginning at age 11. Tara has a B.A. in Psychology, a diploma in Social Service Work, and a certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Tara can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org Non-creepy fan mail gladly welcomed.