Seven Ways to Lower Stress and Learn To Be Funny!

Laughter releases endorphins. Laughter lowers health risks. Laughter lifts the ambience.

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”

Genesis 21: 6, NIV 1984

Drenching the dunk tank donor in a thank you hug!

Christmas a few years ago, my second son swiped my youngest son’s cell phone. Then like the traveling gnome, the phone traveled to various places over a two day period complete with photos of the phone’s vacation. On Christmas Eve the story of the traveling phone was shared by the older brother in a slide show in front of the entire family. My grandson was only a few months old and starred in the action as he giggled on his Uncle’s phone for one of the slide show shots.

Lol, yeah, it's your phone 'cuz you have more minutes than me.

The grand finale? My youngest son’s phone was returned…wrapped in water tight plastic baggies in a bowl of jiggling red jello! We laughed and laughed at the antics and the well planned presentation. (Of course be sure your humor is something that won’t get you into trouble and won’t alienate friends.)

Here are seven things funny people know that might help us lower stress and learn to be funny.

1. Let go and laugh freely. If it feels cute, let yourself laugh instead of holding back.

2. Stop worrying about what you look like and make someone else smile. The funniest people are those who love to make faces, get messy, and don’t worry about their hair. The response is worth it because we carry the memory of the joy, the laughter, and relive it through story over and over again.

She's going in!

People who like to share, create, and spread humor build confidence in themselves and others. Trust me, a dunk tank will not preserve the hair and make up. You just have to go at it whole heartedly.

COLD! Very cold!

3. Intend to spread humor. Advance planning is as special here as spontaneity. Two different ladies at the gym where I coach came in wearing completely different Santa hats. One lady’s had an attached beard that covered her face and the other lady’s hat had a motorized song and dance routine (the hat, not the lady). Each planned to make others smile and boy did they! The mood at the gym stayed light the entire morning because two people chose to share humor. The best part? Neither knew the other planned the silly hat day. These ladies changed the course of the day for dozens of other people in a high stress holiday week.

4. Use simple common knowledge items or life experiences that anyone can identify with from common culture. Cell phone, Santa hat, slide shows, babies, dunk tanks…every one of these is something anyone can relate to in our culture. Find the humor in the common.

5. Do the unexpected. The donor who bought the dunk tank for the fund raiser did not expect a big thank you! I tried all day to get him to volunteer to be dunked in the cold water on the unexpected very cold, blustery day. He just wouldn’t capitulate. So I gave him one awesome thank you hug for the experience of being the dunkee after spending my designated time in the water. He laughed all the way through it and so did the crowd.

He donated the dunk tank on a cold day. He needed a soaking wet thank you hug!

6. Don’t fear failure. Not everything will work out as planned. Try anyway. Comedians try out jokes and bits all the time. If it doesn’t work, they write another skit or story. They don’t worry about it. They just move on to the next idea. It’s the same concept for reaching a goal, by the way.

7. Look for things that make you laugh, then share them.

Please feel free to share funny moments, experiences, unexpected laughs, jokes, etc. Lighten the day for everyone and join in the fun. (Do keep it family-style humor.) As Sarah said in the Bible, everyone who hears this will laugh with me.

Do you have tips for learning how to be funny? Absolutely share!

Angela Breidenbach

Angie Breidenbach loves speaking for women's retreats, conferences, and events. Angela also coaches courageous confidence, personal growth, media and interview skills, writing, and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and CTA life coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister for her congregation in Missoula, MT. She's written Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life from Journey Press, a Sheaf House imprint. Other works by Angela include Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance (Oct 2010), Creative Cooking for Colitis (March 2011, Kindle) compilation books and devotionals from Guidepost, Group, and articles in magazines, ezines, and newspapers. Her newest book, A Healing Heart, is due out from Abingdon Press ( April 2013.

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