Posted: Sep 23, 2014 5:00 AM
Why is laughter so good for you? A professional counts the ways and moms share how they get those all-important daily laughs in. Laughter helps us experience joy in the everyday, so make sure you're meeting that laugh quota with our tips on how to laugh more often.
Photo credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

Finding humor is a fabulously fun, free and simple way to elevate the everyday. Psychotherapist and relationship coach, Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, explains the why behind what we all instinctively know: Laughter is good for us. She says, "When was the last time you had a good belly laugh — when it was hard to get your breath, your eyes watered and your body shook with a moment of silliness? If you can’t answer that, it’s been too long. Laughter is a natural antidote for whatever ails us — it can lighten a difficult moment, help turn around a bad day, offer hope during a painful time and remind us that if we can laugh about it, we will be OK. Laughter relaxes us, it boosts the immune system and it triggers feel-good chemicals that are good for us inside and out. So take a moment, find something funny and have a great laugh."

But how can we ensure that there's more laughter in our lives? Six funny divas share how they look for — and find — the funny in the everyday.

Alexandra Rosas

AlexandraAlexandra contributes to several websites and her writing has been featured in various anthologies. You can follow her on her personal blog, Good Day, Regular People.

Finding humor in the everyday^

You're not going to believe this, but I watch my life and pretend it's a sitcom. Everything is funny, poignant, bittersweet, jaw-droppingly astounding, when you see it through the lens of reality TV.

Ann Imig

AnnAnn is a stay-at-home humorist, mother of two and founder of Listen To Your Mother, the live-reading series now giving Mother's Day a microphone in cities nationwide and appearing on NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

Finding humor in the everyday^

Finding humor automatically reduces my stress level. As much as it's a personality trait, it's also something I constantly practice. Finding the funny is another form of mindfulness really — you have to observe yourself and your environment in the moment, and make a reflection about it. Like mindfulness or gratitude, you get better at finding humor when you actively practice it. I write something funny nearly every day. Whether 140 characters or fewer, or something longer-form. The result is that I'm quicker to find the humor even in the midst of stress.

Colleen Kruse

ColleenColleen is a Twin Cities-based comic storyteller and writer. Kruse has appeared on Showtime, HBO, FOX, NBC, and the A & E Network.

Finding humor in the everyday^

Laughter changes everything. This is hard science. It changes the chemical response in your body and releases all that feel-good juice right into your brain — a lot of times when you need it most. Like when someone breaks an uncomfortable silence, or when someone makes a joke in dark humor in order to commiserate with a bad situation. Laughter is egalitarian. It's one of the best things in life for you. And it's free. A joke is a truth you didn't see coming. Find something you think is funny. Deconstruct it. Take it all apart to the truth of it. Then cover that sucker back up with metaphor, and foreshadowing. When you write jokes, you write them backwards. Like a surprise party with words.

Sherri Kuhn

SherriSherri is a wife, a mother of two and a freelance writer and blogger at Old Tweener.

Finding humor in the everyday^

I figured out early on that I wouldn't survive long as a mom unless I could have a sense of humor about the whole gig. One recurring thought I have almost every day is that if you looked at my life as a mom in sound bites or little snippets, it would be hilarious. So when I'm upset or someone is really pushing my buttons, I imagine that I'm watching this skit on a sitcom and think about how funny it would be.

Kim Bongiorno

KimKim is an author, essayist, humorist, freelance writer and the woman behind the award-winning blog Let Me Start By Saying.

Finding humor in the everyday^

I've known from an early age that life can be filled with hard and sad and difficult things completely out of my control, so I made a point to look for the laughter inside of me, seek out an angle or observation that could bring me joy. Joy was up to me. Looking for the funny became a habit that was such an innate part of me, I can't even say how I find it other than simply being open to it. If you look — really look — you can see the funny, the laughter, everywhere. And it's a wonderful thing to behold.

Tracy Beckerman

TracyTracy is a syndicated humor columnist and author at Lost in Suburbia.

Finding humor in the everyday^

Any veteran humorist will tell you that there is a tried and true formula for comedy that goes, "tragedy + time = humor." While there are some tragedies that will never, ever be funny (think 9/11, the Japan Tsunami, etc.), minor personal tragedies, after a while, can be a great source of humor. Flooded basements, dead pet goldfish, root canal... while these things are difficult to go through at the time, there is always a humor gift in them to be found after the fact. Who among us hasn't told our kid the fish was sleeping and then run off to the pet store to get a lookalike fish before our kid got home from school? I did this 16 times before the pet store owner took pity on me and gave me a plastic goldfish. You can see the humor when you step outside the emotions of the moment.

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