When was the last time you truly laughed?
What stops you from laughing more often?
Just imagine what it would be like to be able to laugh away all your aches and pains.
Have a closer look at the image on the left – it’s an incredible image and one of the best I have ever seen of a child or indeed anyone laughing.
Notice how his laughter has reached his eyes and his whole face is one of sheer happiness.
Just by looking at this image, I feel better and have to almost restrain myself from smiling too. There, I have stopped restraining myself and I have now got a huge smile on my face.
Now it’s time for you to stop restraining yourself too. Smile:-)
Children are incredible in their ability to be just in the moment and enjoy whatever it is that’s making them tickle.
But why should we restrict such joy just to the little guys?
There is ample proof to show that laughter is indeed the best medicine and case studies have proven that people do heal much faster when surrounded with laughter, fun and joy.
So let me repeat my original question – when was the last time you truly laughed?
Pause for a few seconds and recall that time.
What was it like for you?
You probably felt lighter, happier and present in that moment.
What usually stops us from laughing more often?
We take life too seriously
Our upbringing has taught us to be all prim and proper
The culture we live in – for example the fabled British stiff upper lip:-)
Life is a challenge so it’s hard to smile about anything
We just don’t find something funny
So here’s my invitation to you for today and everyday from now onwards. Just recall the one time in your life when you have truly let go, lost control and laughed and laughed.
Then put yourself back in that point in space and time – and simply laugh. It will be the best and perhaps only medicine you will ever take.
Please also share your moments of greatest laughter in the comments section below – spread the joy:-)
To make it more fun, I shall send a copy of my book “Get the Life you Love” for the story I think is the funniest.
I shall decide after 2 weeks, on 19th March (my birthday). And of course I shall post my book to you, wherever you are in the world. So please do share your best laughter stories.
Great topic, Arvind and I have too many moments to share! My last laughing fit was during my 3-year old son’s bathtime last night. We squirted water at each other. He blew bubbles at me. He pretended to cook pancakes for me in the tub, naked, (as in, “Momma, I’m making pancakes for you with no pants on”) and we remarked over and over how silly that was. He and I sat in separate pools of goofy, silly wetness, doubled over in laughter.
Thanks Belinda for sharing about your son!
Here’s a Youtube video which always has me in stiches – it’s become a Youtube classic and one of its most popular videos ever:-
I challenge you to NOT join in the laughter!
Arvind, thank you. Asking people to share their moments of greatest laughter is truly a stroke of genius. Not only do you set us thinking, but we begin thinking of laughter in our lives, which of course starts us smiling and laughing all over again. How wonderful! We can remember and re-experience the times when we felt deep joy and connection. I have many moments of laughter, and I am going to spend time smiling through them, and when I stop laughing I will write you again. Have you seen a dog smile or laugh? Or a cat? My dogs and cats often smile along with me here in the mountains (when we are not covering our ears, as we just did the other day – please visit my latest blog post and read about Mount Fuji – not something to laugh about at all). Which makes me appreciate your post even more. Thank you, and a big smile to you – Catrien Ross.
Catrien, that was exactly the idea to get people bringing more laughter into their life.
I have never ever seen a cat or dog smile or laugh! Maybe you can send us images of your cats and dgos smiling:-)
I am off now to read your post about Mount Fuji…
Arvind, thank God my girlfriend and I are constantly laughing until we get dizzy, so the last time was actually yesterday. One of the running gags in our relationship comes from a saying that whenever 2 lovers are about to say the same thing at the same time (actually sharing the same thought telepathically) there is a saying that this adds another year to a relationship. And whenever we catch ourselves doing that we sigh, say “Oh no – another year”, realize that we need to live up to 480 years or so now and laugh out loud. Oh and then we look each other in the eye smile and kiss – that is an even better ending 🙂
Patrick, thanks for sharing about your girlfriend. Here’s to a few centuries of being together:-)
I read somewhere that you should always choose a partner tha tyou laught a lot with and somene whose conversation and sense of humour you enjoy – as you get older, its your laughter and conversation that will keep you entertained and close.
I laughed this morning, I married the funniest man. I’m clever! 🙂
He has the most contagious laugh in the world and believe me I don’t need something funny to happen, I just need to hear him laughing! When we go to the cinema, for example, if he starts to laugh at something ( that other people don’t find funny) , everybody in the hall start to laugh, too!!! Crazy, but I love it! 🙂
Maja, that was a smart move, marrying a funny man! It’s wonderful to be around someone with a contagious laugh:-)
In case you haven’t seen my comments above, please check out the contagious laughter of hits baby:-
This video has now been viewed almost 110 million times and you can hear why.
I know that video, and this one is my favorite:
Thanks Maja, stereophonic sound!
Made my day:-)
Arvind, I believe you must have read my mind. I was just thinking about how serious I’ve become in my life and wondering when I last had any real fun. Laughter is such a simple thing, yet so powerful. Thank you for reminding me not to take myself or my life so seriously. I’m going to tape a new affirmation to my bathroom mirror: A belly laugh a day keeps the stress at bay!
Angela, like you I must be intuitive:-)
I love your new affirmation, maybe we should all tape it to our bathroom mirror!
This afternoon I was at my gym and there was a little girl with her father in the swimming pool area. She was a rather precocious 2 year old and kept laughing and chatting non stop. It was impossible not ot join in with her laughter – so that was belly laugh for the day. The learning is to be around children and tune into to their child-like sense of fun and laughter:-)
Thank you, thank you and thank you for this amazing post. Keep laughing and enjoying life, after all why do we need to take ourselves too seriously? Life is short, let us enjoy it to the maximum. By the way, have you ever tried laughter yoga? I came across this form of yoga a couple of months ago, and although I didn’t try it, I feel that it has something very special. You can find more info on the following link: https://www.laughteryoga.org/
Have a great day 🙂
Zeina, as you say life is indeed short, so why not enjoy it to the maximum?
As for laughter yoga, I have tried it a few times – and I literally laughed till it hurt! A friend runs regular laughter yoga sessions and I must get my fillup of laughter soon:-)
I highly recommend you go and try it out – I learnt to laugh without having to find a reason to do so.
Arvind, first visit to your blog and it is amazing.
Thanks for this excellent post. I believe the power of laughter is great. It can shift our mood and thinking immediately. We should all take time to laugh and play, after all, life is meant to be fun right?
Faisal, welcome to my blog. And thanks for your kind words.
Yes, life is meant to be fun and so often we all forget that in our daily “grind”. Indeed our life is only a grind if we choose to see it that way. The lesson is make time to have some fun and laughter every day.
Laughter is best remedy for many situation, I recently posted on my blog 25 ways to rock your marriage , or any relationship for that matter, see #12. We must have thought alike Arvind.
Also my 2 kids are always smiling, and we should learn to be like them, smile and laugh without wanting nothing more than LOVE. Good post.
Thanks Zengil for your article – yes, laughter is also very important in any relationship, and especially marriage.
Nothing can teach us more about life and laughter than watching kids playing without a care in the world. So let’s all be childlike (not childish!)
I love your post – laughter is undoubtedly the best medicine. The best laugh i had recently was playing with my friend’s two year old daughter. I’m 6 foot 5, but she persuaded me that climbing into her extendable play tunnel was a great idea. Of course I got totally stuck with feet poking out one end and head the other. At this point, she grabbed my feet and my wife grabbed my shoulders and they both tried to pull me out. Cue about 15 minutes of belly laughs all round. Thanks for giving me a smile just thinking about it.
Excellent story, Phil!
Now if only someone could have taken a video, it would have gone down really well on YouTube:-)
I love this post. I love laughing. At almost anything. At school I got in trouble hundreds of times for laughing when I shouldn’t have. And yes, this was reflected in my report cards. “Craig has a propensity to be easily distracted and is not always a good influence on other students”. So not fair. I find some grown-ups to be boring, uninspiring and periodically, depressing. I have worked with (coached) many ’successful’ people who haven’t laughed in years. What’s the point? When there’s no joy, there’s no life; just an existence.
Craig, welcome to my blog!
I even got your name correct this time:-)
Having known you through your blog for a while, I can just imagine you laughing at every possible opportunity. And who even needs an opportunity to laugh?
As you say, without joy and laughter, what’s the point of living?
Let’s rephrase your school report from:-
“Craig has a propensity to be easily distracted and is not always a good influence on other students”
“Craig never takes life too seriously. He see humour in most things and his infectious laughter is rubbing off on the other students”.
“Unless Craig bucks up and starts being more serious, he will never make it academically. He doesn’t seem suited for a solid job – so perhaps he should consider a career as a speaker since he never stops talking. If nothing else, maybe he can teach others how to have a fun time and be healthy and fit, as that’s all that he seems interested in …..”
And Craig, the rest is history:-)
It is said that laughter is the best medicine, and it is, an excellent medicine! When you are low and perhaps feeling sorry for yourself, find something funny to laugh at. You can’t feel really bad and laugh at the same time. Laughter just feels good. When things are a bit sour between friends, what better way to set things right, than to have a good laugh together.
“The most completely lost of all days is that on which one has not laughed.” – Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794)
Thanks Grampa Ken for your feedback and welcome to my blog.
I just spent some time going through your wonderful 32 KEYS – thank you.
Every day I aim to laugh heartily at least half a dozen times, so none of my days are ever lost:-)
PS So everyone reading this, have you laughed yet today?! If not, why not?!
If you already have, then laugh again at least once more today:-)
Thanks for much that Arvind. I did manage a few laughs yesterday. Silly, but silly is ok, it’s for a good cause!
Grampa, sillier the better!
Anything for a good cause:-)
I’m so glad I found your website through Zen Habits. I’ve really enjoyed looking through it and will read even more after I comment. It reminds me of a post I wrote last fall…Laughter is the Best Medicine. Isn’t it amazing how much children laugh…more than 300 times a day. I’m a preschool teacher as well as an author and get to see it every day!
Welcome, Betsy and thanks for sharing your thoughts about laughter.
I have just checked out your article about laughter and I reckon I have just about laughed 15 times already which you say is the average for adults. Now I am off looking for more jokes online since I have some catching up to do before I get to 300 laughs, which is what children have each day:-)
Laughing helps me to take life as it comes and put things into perspective. I recently joined a laughter therapy class. It might seem awkward at first, but I haven’t been happier since 🙂 Can recommend this to everyone!
Welcome to my blog Femita:-)
Enjoy your laughter classes – and may your happiness last for ever.
Thanks for the recommendation.
As they say, “Laughter is the best medicine” – I love to laugh and smile! It is my cure-all. You are right – we do take life way too seriously! Thanks for the reminders!
Joan, welcome to my blog.
Great to know you love to laugh – keep laughing forever!