I walked into a Panera the other day to get lunch. It was hot, the line was long, and I could see every table disappearing while I waited to order. I sighed hard enough to blow the hair of the woman in front of me and groaned out loud. My husband hates when I do that, but it’s kind of involuntary.
Then I heard a woman laughing. Not just giggling, but guffawing. It was genuine, and as her laughter filled the restaurant, I began to smile. The lady in front of me made eye contact and we began to laugh together. Others in the restaurant joined in. We had no idea what she was laughing about, but it didn’t matter. It felt good.
A great article on the health benefits of laughter says that:
There’s a great practice called laughter yoga. Check out this video – the man looks a little crazy, but I dare you not to smile while you watch.
Where Did All the Laughter Go?
I’ve been in too many godawful meetings where invitees sit around looking like they were weaned on a sour pickle. In most of those meetings, there are a lot of arguments and very few solutions, because there’s not enough energy to be creative.
Have you ever seen the difference between a person frowning and a person smiling? Huge wattage shift. See my family below.
When taking pictures, my daughter likes to yell out an emotion and we’re supposed to try to capture it with our faces. The first picture we were supposed to look confused:
Then, we got totally cracked up:
See the energy? It all came from laughter.
Laughter – Use it or Lose It
So, if you’re presenting, get people to laugh and you will have them in your hand for the rest of your presentation.
If you’re leading a team meeting, start with a laugh and you’ll get more ideas.
If you’re meeting friends for lunch, share a laugh and it will change the entire meal.
Today, just laugh.