Earlier this month, I talked with Alice Bradley, co-author of the fantastic new book, Let's Panic About Babies!, about humour, and she mentioned that she is "constantly looking for the joke," much in the same way that I, as a photographer, am "constantly looking for the light." Over the past month, I tried to look for the humour in situations as much as possible, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Just the trying was pretty eye-opening for me, though: I found that when I tried to look for humour, it required me to detach myself from the circumstances, and try to gain a bit of perspective. As I said, it didn't always work, but I think the exercise was good for me.
One interesting thing I did come across over the month was Laughter Yoga -- a form of yoga where participants laugh for 40 minutes (sometimes forced, sometimes not). The theory is that the body can't tell the difference between fake laughter and real laughter -- the physiological and psychological benefits are the same.
I even found a BBC video featuring John Cleese that talked all about it:
Interesting, isn't it?
Now: I don't know that I'm going to spend 40 minutes a day laughing (though it does honestly sound lovely), but I'm drawn to the idea that more laughter daily is good for your health. In fact, the Mayo Clinic maintains that the benefits of laughter include:
- stimulation of your heart, lungs and muscles
- activation and relief of the stress response
- soothing of tensions
- improvement of your immune system
- relief from pain
- increase in personal satisfaction
So here's to laughter and joy, friends. May you encounter something funny every day.