When last did you have a seriously good laugh? As children, we used to laugh so often but as adults, we take life more seriously and forget the power of laughter. Laughter feels good.
The health benefits of laughter are well documented and state that, amongst other things, laughter:
- Relieves stress
- Boosts our immunity
- Releases endorphins, which are those feel-good chemicals!
- Increases blood flow which is healthy for your heart
- Lifts our mood
“The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades.” – Demetri Martin
In addition, laughter is attractive and contagious, it strengthens relationships and defuses conflict. Now one can immediately see how these benefits can be a teacher’s best friend! Research has found that incorporating laughter in the classroom enhances learning and creativity. However, before we can tackle that we need to tackle….you!
Teaching has become hard and I think some of us have forgotten to laugh and overlook opportunities to engage in this wonderful natural part of who we are. So, let’s look at some ways to inject more laughter into our world.
“If you think women are the weaker sex, try pulling the blanket back to your side.” – Stuart Turner
Ways to open the door to laughter
It all starts with smiling. Smiling is the beginning of laughter, so take every opportunity to smile. Instead of burying our heads in our cell phones let’s begin to hold our heads up high and smile at all and sundry. Not only will we benefit but a smile can literally change another person’s life.
“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet service to see who they really are.” – Will Ferrell
Tap into your sense of humour
Maybe life and work have just knocked the humour out of you. You remember having a sense of humour but somehow it has got buried under the burden of adult responsibilities. So, how does one unearth that elusive sense of humour? Here are a few tips:
Look for the humour in each situation. Instead of grumbling and complaining turn a bad situation into a funny story.
Learn to not take yourself so seriously. Admit your mistakes and laugh at them remembering that we all mess up from time to time.
Keep in sight a reminder to laugh. Put up a funny poster on your wall or choose a screensaver that makes you laugh.
Don’t dwell on a negative situation. Life is not always a bed of roses we can all attest to that. Deal with those negative occurrences and move on. When times are tough seek out people who are positive and you will find your mood will lift.
“I walk around like everything is fine, but deep down, inside my shoe, my sock is sliding off’.”
Yes, I know this sounds strange! This is for those who really struggle to find something funny to laugh at. The good news is that you can just laugh anyway. Make the effort to laugh, and I mean really laugh, at other people’s jokes even if you don’t think they are particularly humorous. Another idea is just to break out in laughter. Maybe you should keep this one for when you are alone so that others will not think you are completely balmy!
“Alright everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height.” – Casey Stengel
Create opportunities to laugh
It’s not too difficult to find the time to create opportunities for laughter. Watch a funny movie or read a humorous book. Gather a few friends together and have a games night of charades or some other game that’s has a humorous factor. If it’s just you then maybe some gifs on Giphy will make you laugh or look up hilarious quotes.
The point is to find some things that tickle the funny in you and get laughing.
“Have you noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.” – Georg Carlin
Make a decision to not go a day without laughing and you will find that life will take on a more positive outlook. Your relationships will be refreshed, and you will feel more energised as you throw off the gloom and look on the bright side.
Next time we will discuss how you can bring laughter into your classroom to build stronger relationships with your learners and create a happier and more creative environment for learning.