How much of your day do you spend being robotic?
Let’s have a good laugh today – I have two videos that I promise will crack you up!
Look around you. How many people just stare into their phones? How many conversations do you have that seem simply mechanical? How much of your time is spent just going through the motions?
Watch this video, try not to laugh, then I will explain why it works:
How awesome was that? I even tried not to laugh. No luck.
In my series on Why we Make Decisions Based on Emotions, I went through a number of ways our brain works and how we can create deeper connections with others. When you watched the video, there are a number of things that happened. You saw honest emotions and this caused mirror neurons in your brain to fire. It’s the same as when someone is sad. We are wired to have this connection with all other humans.
Try smiling at someone. They can’t help but smile back.
Research done on fMRI scanners has shown that our brains actually respond to these laughter stimulus and our brain connects quickly with sounds of joy. Many experts believe that laughter could have actually been the foundation for language far before words. It was powerful for group dynamics.
Dr Sophie Scott, senior research fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience performed studies into the contagiousness of laughter and said, “We usually encounter positive emotions, such as laughter or cheering, in group situations, whether watching a comedy program with family or a football game with friends,” Scott said. “This response in the brain, automatically priming us to smile or laugh, provides a way or mirroring the behavior of others, something which helps us interact socially. It could play an important role in building strong bonds between individuals in a group.”
Robert R. Provine, PhD, a behavioral neurobiologist at the University of Maryland in Baltimore explains in an article on Web MD that “the social aspect of laughing was striking…People laughed about 30 times more when they were around others than when they were alone. Compare that to other social interactions: People smiled more than six times more and talked more than four times more in social than solitary situations.”
If we know it’s good for us, why don’t we do it more?
One of the challenges of being an adult is our tendency to overthink things. I know I’m guilty of it. So when something is funny, often we try and process the information rather than just simply letting go and enjoying.
What was your feeling after laughing at the video? Were you more energized? Were you more willing to have a conversation? Were you more open to ideas? When we laugh, it helps relieve tension and it signals to the brain we are safe. When we want to connect with someone else, the number one rule I explained in my article was to make sure we don’t trigger that reptilian brain and the “fight or flight” instinct.
So try it. Find more ways to laugh each day with your clients, coworkers, friends, and families.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Dr Daniel Kahneman shares some awesome research on how simple actions can create behaviors and that we humans are the worst predictors of our own future behavior.
I mentioned one of his studies where people put pencils in their mouths and changed the way they reacted. Read that on my post Action over Mind Over Matter.
Why do you think laughter yoga and laughter clubs are gaining in popularity?
Stephan Wischerth who was once a psycho therapist and now leads the New York City’s Laughter Club, tells Web MD “Laughing makes people laugh…I find that we really have lot of laughs just frozen inside our chest, just dying to get out. I give people permission to laugh out loud, be silly, get rid of stress. They discover for themselves how to take life a little less seriously. People feel like they’re constantly under barrage. Why not joke about it?”
Increase your laugh quota
That’s my challenge to you.
Make a goal for yourself to have more fun. Last week I wrote about my goal of being more authentic this year. I have been sharing that with others and they love it. It has made my vision for the upcoming months so much more powerful. And hey, I LOVE to laugh! So this is a natural fit for my goals. Each day, I will make it a priority to involve some laughing and joy in all my interactions.
How can that be bad if I know it is a cornerstone for group connectivity? It’s science!
Another video that shows this so well was from Jimmy Fallon a few weeks ago with Bradley Cooper. They start laughing and cant stop no matter how hard they try. I was dying just watching them. It’s awesome! Do yourself a favor and watch it. And imagine what your life would feel like if that happened more often?
I had to watch it again, myself! so good!
So go out, laugh more, connect with others, and have more fun building your life this year!
Like and share this! And leave comments below – I want to hear what makes you laugh or how you have applied this in your world!
Image source: Amusingtime.com