Laughter is the sound of crashing brain cells. When we laugh with other people, there is a real reason that we look each other in the eye: Our brains are working together, brain cells are dancing and we are having a good time.
Humor can change parts of you, and you’ve got to do some things. It’s a partnership. Stay tuned for more on this.
The ability to laugh is a brain muscle that can grow with use, or shrink if we ignore it. That is part of my goal in writing this blog: to make bigger brains.
When you laugh, you wake up. Researchers have found that being awake can make us more creative, better problem solvers and more fun than if we are asleep all day. Trust me, I have tried both and it is far better to live awake than asleep all of the time.
Laughter can change us. If there is one thing I need, it is a little more pocket change. I’m broke, so bring on the laughter.
Here is my list of the 7 Gifts of Humor+Usness. Being humorous is nice, but when you add the Usness part, everyone can get in on the action. I guarantee there are more than 7, but I am writing this so I get to decide the number.
The 7 Gifts of Humor-usness:
1. We take ourselves lightly, because our scales don’t. I don’t know about you but I tend to feel too anxious. Laughter helps me to lighten up. You and I both look better when we are a few pounds lighter. Humor will help us look a little better!
2. Laughing opens our minds: we have a better chance to learn something when we laugh than when we are bored.
3. Laughing makes us more willing to listen to each other.
4. Laughing makes it easier to take a risk.
5. Laughter allows us to be light about dark things: dark humor keeps us sane when things feel crazy.
6. Laughing makes us more productive when we need to be serious. But this one is tricky because if all that we think about is efficiency, financial responsibility and objectives… the joy seems to dance away.
7. Laughter makes us more spiritual. When we laugh, we seem to relax into hope. Only living things can laugh, so laughter is about living. It makes sense in my brain, okay.
Everyone can laugh more. Here are a few ideas about how to build our humor bank account:
- Spend time with people who like to laugh.
- Listen to comedy on your iPod (CBC Laugh Out Loud is available through iTunes anywhere), watch it on TV (Comedy Central or Just For Laughs) or go to live comedy.
- Play. I play with words. See my blog post on the 8 Words that can Keep Any Conversation Going for an example. You may not like to play with words, but maybe you like to play in traffic? Other people do practical jokes. But there is very little of that anymore. I wonder if we have over-efficiencied ourselves so much that we have a humor debt?
- Take risks. I say silly things one on one, in smaller groups and in meetings. I also try to say serious and semi-intelligent things to balance it all out. That way I am only an idiot part of the time. I also purposely look for ways to find, or inject laughter into meetings. Intense discussions seem to dull the activity of the brain cells. See my post on How to Make Your Meetings More Interesting for a few ways to get more out of meetings.
- Have kids, be around kids, be around adults who are children. Children are okay with being silly, being humorous, with farting and burping. This can be a little gross, but this is what makes us human.
- Just be yourself. Wear your tropical shirts, wigs, silly glasses and odd colour socks. Tell jokes. Be subtle or be bold. Insist that you have the right to be yourself, don’t copy someone else. I am not good at telling jokes. My memory isn’t very good so I can’t remember long jokes… and it’s not because I have done a lot of experimental drugs. One trial was enough.
- Read my blog. Research shows that reading my blog will improve your smile by 25%, increase your inspiration and your perspiration, and add minutes to your life. Smiling has been proven to make the world a better place. And when we smile, we burn more calories.
One of the best articles on humor that I have found is James Altucher’s article on What Happened to All the Laughter? He has a little more advice and a really good perspective on it.
Remember that the Government taxes our water, our electricity and even the ground we walk on, but they cannot tax humor! Be a change-agent: Laugh. Humor can change your world… it can change parts of you, but it won’t change your underwear. You are the only one who can do that.
Keep it real
If you like what you read in my blog, please leave a comment or like this post. To receive automatic updates, sign up below. Don’t be selfish; share this with your friends. Remember the great saying: “He who laughs, is still alive.” Share this and you may just keep your friends alive one more day.