When’s the last time you had a good laugh?
Laughter is well known to be ‘good medicine’ but it’s not just great for your body and your soul, it’s great for your creativity too.
When you feel relaxed and your spirit is uplifted, you’ll have more energy to bring to your writing and a boost of positivity to drive it forward.
There are lots of ways to stimulate laughter.
Turn to a book you know is full of humour. Independent bookshops and libraries are great sources, if you can get there, or you may have something on your bookshelf that makes you laugh time and time again.
Watch a funny video clip or television show. Maybe it features a comedian whose humour always tickles you or has a storyline that gets you every time.
Write a joke or a piece of comedy. Don’t worry whether it will make other people laugh. Write what makes you giggle. You are your best audience.
Share a funny story with a friend. Recount the funniest thing that ever happened to you or a hilarious moment you witnessed.
If there are young children in your life, or you have a pet, it’s wonderful to stop being an adult for a while and play. Having fun together can often lead to lots of giggles.
Try a game where you challenge each other not to laugh. One of you has to sit with a straight expression while the other pulls faces, tells jokes and does other funny things to try and get you to break out in laughter. Losing can be more fun than winning.
The saying ‘fake it ’til you make it’ is well worn but so often it’s true. Sometimes acting the way you want to feel can stimulate the emotions you desire. So, pretend to laugh and see if it becomes real.
Try laughter yoga. The combination of breathing techniques, meditation, yoga moves and voluntary laughter are said to generate similar physiological and psychological benefits as real laughter. Live and virtual sessions are run all around the world.
Struggling to laugh? There are lots of things that get in the way of laughter and avoiding negativity, at least for a while, may lighten your mood.
Turn off the news. Have a rest from social media, or only spend time in supportive groups. Meditate to quieten busy thoughts. Identify the things that lower your mood, anything toxic that brings you down, and give yourself a break from as many as possible.
When you feel relaxed, try to laugh again and see what happens.
Let go and ha, ha, ha your way to fresh inspiration!