How Laughter Can Bring Us Success

A fisheye image of a woman laughing.

When faced with obstacles at school or work, we might tend to stress. But a better option is to let out happy wild laughter. Laughter floods us with delicious endorphins and gently massages our heart and organs. Laughter brings us to a state of, “I love to study!” or “I love to work!”

I know this is true from first-hand experience. Unaware of the benefits of laughter, I was watching a course that teaches how to become a radio show host. A technique taught was to laugh wildly before performing an audio clip. I tried laughing hysterically, and it felt blissful. So, I decided to try it before my sales calls. Selling in a state of euphoria felt so elating, no worries took hold.

Laughing is not only fun, it’s healing. Laughing is like studying, going to the gym, and learning: the more we laugh, the more physiological changes take place. Laughter is like a muscle, the more we work it, the bigger it grows, the better the gains. Not only does laughter relieve stress, but long-term laughter boosts our immune systems. For a list of benefits of laughter, check out an article by the Mayo Clinic.

Laughter is even a form of yoga. A branch of yoga called laughter yoga has groups engaging in silly play and gibberish talk (think “goo goo  choo  choo  bam bam”). The goal is for everyone to laugh wildly with each other and not at each other. Shared laughter forges bonds of healing bliss.

But what if we don’t have time to laugh in a group? We can laugh on our own. Better still, if we are stuck in a quiet environment, such as a library, we can laugh silently, reproducing some of the physiological benefits, such as the broad smile, the heart massage, and the tummy tickle. Silly as it sounds, silent laughing, too, impacts us positively.

Innocent (non-aggressive) laughter benefits the person with whom we speak. We all know it’s easier to be happy when we have a happy friend. And when our friend also has a happy friend, our chances of being happy go up still. If we laugh joyfully throughout the day, we trigger the people around us to feel greater bliss.

But how might we laugh when we are mistreated? When we are in the crossfire of someone’s sarcasm, simply imagine a bowling ball rolling our way at high speed (i.e., the sarcasm). But also imagine that you are a feather.  When the bowling ball reaches the feather that is us, the wind flutters us higher into the air, away from the danger of the bowling ball. Imagine fluttering freely, doing swoops and swirls in the air, tummies tickling. Find joy in every adversity.

Even when we struggle academically, a good hearty laugh can get us back on track, helping us to better cope, helping us to de-stress, helping us to discover better solutions.

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