01 Aug JUNE – Be silly
Life is better when you’re laughing! Id attempted to chuckle more in May and became more mindful of how often I had a laugh. What I noted was that I wasn’t trying hard enough to laugh, I was waiting for the laughter to come to me. I decided to set the resolution to ‘be silly’ to create more opportunities for fun and laughter. My strategy was to emulate laughter more often through a range of ways.
Research proves the many benefits of laughter:
- Laughter causes you to gulp in large portions of air, thereby oxygenating your blood.
- Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body such as cortisol and adrenaline, thus helping to stave off illness.
- Laughter strengthens the immune system.
- When we laugh our bodies release hormones and chemicals that have positive effects on our system. One of these chemicals is endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
- One minute of laughing burns the same number of calories as 6 to 10 minutes on a treadmill.
- Laughing raises your mood; joyfulness through laughter is the fastest way to create a positive state of mind.
- Laughing is good for the heart and improves blood circulation.
- Laughter can reduce pain and aid the healing process.
- Laughter creates and strengthens human connections.
- It feels good to laugh.
Aside from the calorie burn and health benefits – my goal was to improve my mood and strengthen connections.
I strategised ways I could laugh more:
- Laughing at people’s jokes or stories – I know I love it when people laugh at me, I feel affirmed, positive and well-received. I wanted to pass on that gift to others.
- Make people laugh more – This could take a range of forms, through telling jokes – at my expense and the expense of others (nicely of course), one liners and a silly attitude.
- Laugh at myself – I love a bit of slapstick humour. I am not opposed to making a fool of myself through singing, dancing, sarcasm and storytelling. I am fabulous at impersonations!
- Stop being so serious – I needed to lighten up! Sometimes I let life and work get in the way of having a good time. I needed to make the effort to throw myself into situations that would make me laugh more.
- Make the time to engage in laughter – At work, I needed to peel myself away from my desk and get into the staffroom, here I could tell more stories, listen to others and forge new connections.
Life would be tragic if we weren’t funny… My quest to be sillier initially required some preparation. On my way to work in the morning, I sometimes had to plan how I was going to be silly at work. It is easy to let loose with kids around! The days i taught kindergarten were easy. I planned to dance and sing with them. These 5 year olds squealed with delight as I performed the ‘Banana Song.’ There is a section of the song when it instructs you to “go bananas” and I moved my arms and legs in the most peculiar way, tickled them and made funny faces. They just loved it! I relished in the opportunity to be silly with the older students later in the week. During our drama lessons, I usually sat back and watched them, shushing them when they got too loud. However, this lesson I decided to get involved. I participated in the improvisation game. I pretended to be everything from a breakdancer, a worm and a kitten. I laughed so hard and so did they! When it came to working with adults, I wanted to brighten their days and pass on the gift of laughter. One morning I entered a meeting. Everyone was being so serious. I cracked jokes and my deputy principal and I were chuckling from other sides of the table. Someone else reminded up to get on track and he replied, “Nah…A bit of laughter in the morning is great! I need this!” I was so happy to see my resolution impact someone else positively. Silly Adrienne continued to pop up throughout the month. She danced some awful dance moves, sung out of tune and made up questionable sound effects. People were laughing, snorting and doubled over and clutching their sides. I was having a blast and I am glad they were tooo.
I believe in the power of acting the way you want to feel. Having a bad day? No worries. Try acting happier and more positive. My commandment to act in a way that projected positivity was easy to practice alongside this resolution. When people asked me how I was in the morning, I replied “Amazing!” or “Fantastic!” This positivity was infectious. I saw people’s faces lighting up. Not too long after, I would be cracking jokes or listening intently to their stories – laughing at their jokes. What I started to notice was that people seemingly enjoyed chatting to me. Who wouldn’t love to talk to someone who found them hilarious?!?!
To top of the end to a great month of positivity and laughter, we completed an exercise at work. Everyone had to write a few words about you on a piece of paper. When mine returned to me, I saw phrases such as:
“Full of life”
“A great person to have a laugh with”
The simple act of making more of an effort to be funny was so rewarding. I actually felt it begin to shift who I was as a person. I was less uptight. I was fun to be around. I started to notice that it look less of an effort to be funny and became more of who I was.
I was becoming the best version of myself.