Healthy Habits

Tickle Your Funny Bone

Mother and daughter at home talking

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

While a burst of the giggles can boost your mood, to get the full benefits of laughter it’s more about lightening your overall attitude and temperament than adding “laugh” to your to-do list. Think about laughter as an overall lifestyle rather than a task.

Health psychologist Grace Tworek, PsyD, suggests doing the following:

“When someone’s in a funk, one exercise I like to recommend is to just think back to something that usually would make you smile. For some people, it’s a song. For some people, it’s a walk around the block or being out in the sunlight. Think about something that would normally make you smile or laugh and engage with that thought purposefully for a few minutes. Imagining a happy scenario can help relax your mind and body, and for a more complete effect, make the time to do things that make you happy, too.”

This is called behavioral activation — meaning you plan things for yourself that you normally enjoy. Sometimes when we are stressed, it can feel like we don’t have time for fun. Doing things that we enjoy will often relieve stress more than completing that long list of things we feel we have to do. Habits like regular self-care, exercise, and meditation can help relax the nervous system, helping you get in the laughing mood when something funny happens.

“Sometimes when we are stressed, it can feel like we don’t have time for fun. Take the time to do things that make you happy.”

Try out a few of the following suggestions to add more laughter and humor to your day.

  • Create opportunities to laugh.
  • Tell jokes.
  • Attend a comedy show.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Reminisce with friends or family about memories and stories that make you laugh.
  • Read comics or a funny book.
  • Channel your inner child and play games with others.
  • Make time for fun activities.
  • Laugh at yourself — don’t take life too seriously.
  • Add laughter to your morning routine with a joke-a-day calendar or app.
  • Have more fun on your date night. Go to the arcade, play laser tag, or go bowling.
  • Try something new. When you try something new, whether it’s drawing, practicing karate, or learning to rollerblade, your initial attempts will likely be clumsy and humorous.


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