On Happiness: Wacky Fun

ladylaughterI spent too much of my life being serious, planning everything carefully, dotting my “i’s”  and crossing my “t’s.”

In recent years I’ve decided to have more fun, to laugh more and encourage you to do the same.

One thing guaranteed to make you happier is laughter. Scientists have verified that laughter boosts immunity, lowers stress hormones, and relaxes our muscles, all of which have mental health and social benefits.

Beyond books, movies and comedians, there are many ways to bring laughter into your life, such as laughter clubs and laughter yoga.

Easier than all of those, however, is just finding things that make you laugh, wacky though it may be to others.

I found such as thing when I was reading a serious article by Editor of Publishing Executive, Noelle Skodzinski , about publishing and print. In it she mentions that she’ll read any format, print or digital, even  Word of the Day toilet paper, as long as it’s compelling.

What? Is there really such a toilet paper?

It was just enough of a challenge to send me off searching for this product that would be sure to be a conversation starter (or stopper) and certainly a unique item to add to my bathroom.

Since I love redecorating my main bathroom every quarter, this was a perfect quest for me.  Without a moment’s hesitation, I abandoned my serious to-do list,  mounted my steady steed, Google, and went off on a search.

WARNING: Before you wade into these toilet paper sites, please note that some of their themes may offend you although many will amuse you.

The first site I discovered, http://www.justtoiletpaper.com, has a wonderful selection of themed toilet paper, but I didn’t see Word of the Day. They did have Word Play (not to be confused with Words with Friends,) Sudoku, and a respectable monogrammed style that you can special order.

In my continued search for the Word of the Day roll, I found more websites with printed, customized and themed toilet paper.

I had a lot of  fun, but alas, I haven’t found the Word of the Day roll yet.

I’m counting on you to let me know when you find it, won’t you?


What Still Cracks You Up?

CB026221I was collecting happiness flashbacks to include in my upcoming book, Color Your Life Happy. It was amazing that decades later these stories still crack me up.

For example

My husband was usually mild-mannered and often chided me for being too loud and forceful. But one day, when two middle children were in a heated and almost combative dispute, he burst out ”CONTROL YOUR TEMPER!”

First, there was a moment of silence, then we all burst into laughter over the irony of it all.

Another example

My son rode a school bus during 5th grade that picked him up from our neighborhood and took him to a magnet school about 12 miles away. Whenever we were out driving about town on weekends, he was always convinced that his bus passed many intersections that it could not have possibility passed.

He would insist, ” My bus stops here.”

If his bus had stopped at all the places he thought, he would never have gotten to school. It became such a family joke that now no matter where we travel in the world, we say “Herbert’s bus used to stop here.”

Recalling those moments that made you laugh in the past can serve to give you another burst of laughter today. What’s great about this is it lifts your spirits and adds a sparkle to your day. Try it.

What memories still crack you up?

Based on a March 2009 post

It's About Time: Learn to Laugh Your Way to Health and Happiness

Laughter and Cake by tompalumbo on flickr

Laughter and Cake by tompalumbo on flickr

In our culture, we spend an enormous amount of money on doctors, medicine and medical treatment.

It’s too bad that many of us haven’t grasped the truth set forth throughout the ages: laughter is the best medicine.

If you don’t believe it, treat yourself to a belly-deep, robust laugh and watch how much better you feel.

Dr. Madan Kataria believes so much in the benefits of laughing that he started Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs. Dr. Kataria says that laughter is nature’s stressbuster. To learn about his clubs and conferences, visit his website http://laughteryoga.org.

This week,the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) is holding its 23rd conference at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. The 2010 theme is “Biology of Hope/Healing Power of the Human Spirit”
A Tribute to Norman Cousins.

Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review among many other notable achievements, is well known as author of Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient In it he chronicles his recovery from a life-threatening collagen disease with high doses of vitamin C and daily doses of belly laughter.

At their conference AATH attendees will learn how humor and laughter can improve your health, your productivity, and your ability to learn—and as an added bonus, of course, they have scheduled in loads of fun!

Presenters will include experts in humor, laughter, positive psychology, and psychoneuroimmunology. Stressing the power of humor to transform our careers and lives, are also leading researchers, scholars, speakers, authors, and professionals.

And proof that this field is no joke, attendees can earn graduate credit through the AATH Humor Academy.

There is lots of evidence that laughter reduces blood sugar levels, helps blood vessels function better, reduces pain and enables us to tolerate discomfort. Laughter releases hormones that increase performance, creativity and happiness.

So, along with eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, add daily doses of laughter to ensure a healthier and happier life.

“Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.” Japanese proverb

Get more tips about using your time well here.