Find laughter in everyday situations.
That was the admonishment of Bobbe White, a certified laughter leader, to the women of Cleveland at the Healthy Women Expo on Thursday night.
“Look at the obvious humor, and it’s all around you every day,” White said.
She gave several examples of humorous warnings, such as the one on an iron that said “do not use on clothing while on body.”
Everyday situations are also full of humor. White has been faced with choosing stress or humor while in the drive-thru at the post office, and while swimming.
She chose to see the funnny elements of each situation.
“You get up every day and you have the choice whether it’s going to be a good or bad day,” White said.
Looking for humor in everyday situations becomesa scavenger hunt for funny moments, White said. She encouraged her audience to “play attention” to find humor in life, especially while doing stressful things like running errands.
Leading the group in laughter-styled exercises, the speaker emphasized the health benefit of humor.
Combining stretching with laughter sounds such as “haha” and “hoho,” White told those present that “laughing for no reason” has the same benefits as laughing because something is funny.
She said laughing for no reason is a technique that can work for everyone regardless of their sense of humor.
“I give you a few tips and tools to be able to laugh at yourself, to find people with a similar sense of humor as you without doing bumper cars in your life through every twist and turn with stress and pain,” White said. “There is a better way.”
She said deep laughs are like massaging internal organs.
The laughter techniques were developed by a therapist in India. The first step is a “deep cleansing breathe” White said. She said this is the best thing to do when you are stressed.
“Laughter is a natural pain killer. Morphine or laughter you choose,” White said.
She said the medical professionals are embracing the benefits of laughter because of the research that has been done.
“The problem is we don’t laugh as much as we used to or as much as we should,” White said.
White said children laugh at everything, but as they are told time and time again to act more serious they laugh less.
“It’s not that we don’t want to laugh, but we’re a little rusty,” White said.
In 2000, people laughed an average of six minutes.
“Seventy percent of all illnesses have a tie back to stress,” White said.
White gave participants a small book in which to record the funny moments and humor they find in everyday life.
Humor is a good way to diffuse potential confrontation, but has to be used with good judgment she said. White said code words in the workplace to express how you really feel without letting outsiders know is a great way to diffuse stress.