Those Who Laugh, Last - Carolina Country

Those Who Laugh, Last

3 fun ways to put more humor into your life

By Chad Patrick Shannon

Those Who Laugh, Last

Laugh more! Studies have shown laughter works as a muscle relaxer, increases blood flow, offers pain relief, and bolsters the immune system. One study in Norway showed that those who laughed more outlived those who didn’t.

By laughing, you could accomplish all of the following in one simple act:

  • Relax more
  • Improve your heart health
  • Find pain relief
  • Get stronger
  • Live longer

How, then, can you get more humor in your life? It’s all around you, especially in our relationships with spouses, friends, parents, kids and co-workers. Yet, we often allow routines and ruts to impede our closest relationships. We can get caught thinking about the future or dwelling on the past, which drags on enjoying the moment. Or we get our entertainment passively, from devices like our TVs and phones. But when you hang out in the present time, you’ll find yourself being more spontaneous and having a grand time doing so. Try these tips on how to get a chuckle, sans screen.

Three screen-free ways to laugh

1When taking a long car ride, play an improv comedy game.
There are really only two rules to improv: “Yes, and.” The “yes” part: Always agree with the other person. The “and” part: Add something to what they offered you. So, you build a sentence together one word at a time. As the sentence grows, you repeat all the words given. My wife and I have had many laughs over this one.

Me: “The”

Wife: “The dog”

Me: “The dog dentist”

Wife: “The dog dentist failed”

… and so on.

Now we have a good setup. What’s a dog dentist? What did he fail? And what will happen next? The game ends when one party doesn’t repeat the whole sentence correctly. The laughs come with the increasingly creative sentences and when the person mixes up the words.

2While waiting at a doctor’s office, doodle with your child.
Grab a piece of paper and create a world, one doodle at a time. No agendas, just a willingness to be zany. Perhaps your child draws a horse. Then maybe you draw a shoe store. (Yup. Anything goes.) You’ll laugh drawing it and your kid will probably giggle and add something funny too, like a scooter under the horse.

3Make up funny stories about why people are behaving a certain way.
In a public place, spot a conversation 50 feet away (so they don’t hear you) and suggest a story to a friend. As one example, find a couple talking intensely. You can start the story:

You: “He’s explaining the importance of his underpants.”

Friend: “She’s trying to explain that they had to pack in a hurry, so she could only grab blue boxers on this trip.”

You: “Now he’s complaining that he only feels confident in his red long johns.”

This can go on forever, with fun new details, and laughing is guaranteed.

About the Author

Chad Patrick Shannon is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh.

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