Laughter, Fun, and Creativity

by Krylyn on June 30, 2011

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your step as you walk the tightrope of life.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Can you remember the last time you had a good laugh? Something so hilarious that tears streamed down your cheeks? How did you feel after laughing? Research has shown several benefits of laughter for both our physical and emotional health. Laughter helps us by:

  1. Providing a physical release of tension. Have you ever felt relieved, lighter, less stressed after a good laugh? That’s because your body automatically tenses and releases several muscles, from your abdominals, shoulders, etc. This tension and release allows our bodies to let go of physical tension, which can lead to a release of emotional tension as well. When we have less tension, we can be more creative because we are more receptive to the flow of creative energy.
  2. Distracting us from the seriousness we can get focused on when we’re feeling stressed. Have you noticed that when you are overwhelmed or stressed you get more serious? It’s hard to have fun and be creative when we’re worried.
  3. Helping change our perspective. Have you ever been so angry that you did or said something that you later found rather funny? We all have. Allowing ourselves to see humor in unexpected places can help us realize that things are often not quite as serious as we make them out to be. We may also find some inspiration from those serious-turned-funny moments.
  4. Connecting us with others. Laughter can be contagious and create an instant bond between strangers, acquaintances, or friends. Studies show that the more connected we feel with others, the better able we are at dealing with stressful situations. And when we are more connected with others, it can help us work better and be more creative in getting stuff done.

So where do you find humor? Think of times in the past (situations, people, things) that have prompted a good laugh. Make a list because it’s easy to forget when you’re overwhelmed. Keep that list handy in times of stress as a reminder of what to do to lighten things up. Here’s some other ideas where you might find some laughter:

  • T.V. and Movies: Laughter may be as close as your favorite sitcom or a DVD collecting dust on a shelf. You can also rent your favorite comedies from your local DVD rental place, through a rental mailing service, or online through your DVR service.
  • Comedy Club: Find a local comedy club to take in the laughs of local or touring professional comedians. If there isn’t one near you, you might try community theaters, colleges, or universities, which sometimes showcase comedy productions.
  • Friends: Spend time with friends you can be silly with. You may find humor reliving memories from the past or make new memories by playing board games, DVD games, charades, or making up your own. Good friends can also help point out the humor in your life where you may have a tough time seeing it.
  • Photos: Take a stroll down memory lane by looking through old photo albums or scrapbooks. You may be reminded of a funny thing or two.
  • Comic Strips: Peruse the Sunday paper to find humor in the “funny” section. You can even clip out your favorites and hang them where you can see them regularly to remind you to find the humor.
  • Jokes: Go to the library or bookstore and start reading through the joke books.
  • To see the power of laughter in action, watch the video “Bodhisattva in metro” below. (If the video doesn’t load, you can watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKnY8tBLG3g).

I encourage you to use laughter as a way to get more creative. Having fun is a great way to tap into creativity, and ultimately to the healing power you have within yourself. Please leave a comment below describing where you like to find humor.

For more great ideas of how to be creative as a means to healing, download your free copy of “How to Use Music and Sound for Healing” by entering your name and email in the box to the top right of this page.

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