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Mindful : June 2015
Laughter is very serious business. Just ask John Cleese, who sings the praises of spontaneous laughter— “he who laughs most, learns best”—and believes “true laughter... destroys any kind of system of dividing people.” The Mayo Clinic is also big on laughing, since it not only “lightens your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body, stimulating organs and circulation and relaxing muscles.” Here are some ways to stimulate your laugh muscle. LOL Now 11ways to take time for what matters 1 Fake it ’til you make it Having one of those days that makes you want to gouge your eyes out? Try faking a laugh. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can turn into the real thing. If you do it with someone else, it will be infectious. 2 Join (or start) a laughter yoga club Yes, laughter yoga is a thing. No, there are no downward dogs or chatura ngas here— but there are quality chuckles and good times to be had. The practice, conceived in the ‘90s in a public park in Mumbai, India, involves gathering in a g roup, getting silly, and faking laughter while making eye contact with others until you sta rt genuinely laughing. Look for a laughter yoga club in your city at laughteryoga.org. 3 Havea friends night If anyone or anything is sure to make you laugh, it’s the people who know you best. Gather your funniest friends for a dinner out, a cup of cof- fee, or a glass of wine—spend- ing time with those who put you at ease is a great way to get loose and a little silly. 4 The Internet can be your friend There are a lot of funny peo- ple writing and sharing funny things and a lot of people doing funny things—every- where, all the time. And most of them can be found online. Don’t go down the rabbit hole for five hours, but a trip to The Onion (a recent headline: “Courageous Man Overcomes Woman’s Body Language to Continue Hitting on Her”), the Borowitz Report (“For- gotten Ma n Seeks Atten- tion”), or Key & Peele for a good laugh now and then is a pretty great thing. If it’s satire, it keeps us laughing and honest—a t wo-for-one bargain. 5 Love your laugh Isn’t it just so weird and funny that everyone’s laugh is a little different, like snow- flakes? Don’t like yours? Get over it. That sound ought to be music to your ears. → 24 mindful June 2015 PHOTOGRAPHS:©FIDELIO,IVONNEWIERINK©/DOLLARPHOTOCLUB how to live a mindful life