I recently attended a conference for work out in San Diego and found myself laughing hysterically at the organizer’s opening remarks. What surprised me was not her quick wit and natural ease on stage (though she was very funny!).
No – what surprised me is that I realized I hadn’t laughed like that in a long, long time.
As moms, there are so many things on our to-do lists: Kids! House! Work! Oh My! We go from managing one activity to the next, until we finally curl up in bed only to think about all the stuff we have to get done the next day.
Or maybe, it’s the opposite. Our kids are in school or on a playdate (or perhaps right in front of us) and we find ourselves bored and unmotivated to do anything.
The good news is that so much has been written lately about the importance of self-care. Thanks to women like Kris Carr and Arianna Huffington and many, many others, we are drinking more Kale smoothies in the morning and trying to get more sleep. We are mediating, going to yoga and doing things for ourselves like taking a writing or photography class. We are trying to breath more.
But are we laughing?
Once, years ago, when I was in town doing errands with my then-toddlers, I caught a glimpse of myself in the store window and didn’t recognize the harried young woman in the reflection. I remember seeing a grimace on my face and wondered, “Is that how I walk around all day – with a grimace?”
Thankfully, I don’t think that’s the case; while I have plenty of “grimace moments’ throughout the day, I also have plenty of content ones, filled with gratitude and peace.
But it wasn’t until the conference when the organizer had me laughing in stitches that I realized how much I needed that in my life too.
I could wax on about the actual benefits one gets from laughing more (reducing stress and blood sugar levels, increasing one’s ability to tolerate discomfort/pain, improving relationships and job performance, improving productivity, overcoming resistance, establishing an overall positive emotional climate, etc.).
. . . But we all know that.
I could use this opportunity to tell a great joke.
. . . But I’m not that funny (I have other admirable qualities, but alas, natural wit is just one of them).
Instead, I’ll just invite you to take a minute to remember how great you felt the last time you had a belly laugh, and…
challenge you to get a good laugh in once a day.
You may not have a hilarious conference organizer at your doorstep, but laughter should be something readily available to anyone. Grab an old friend and reminisce about something silly you did years ago. Ask your toddler an “adult” question and see what comes out of his mouth. Watch five minutes of Comedy Central or, better yet, google “funny animal videos” (if you don’t find any of these funny, we may need an intervention).
So before you down your Kale juice, and rush off to yoga class, kindergarten drop-off, or the office, try adding “laughter” to your to-do list and see the positive ripple effects it can have on your business and your life.
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Jennifer Faherty is a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach focused on helping women thrive in business and life. To get more updates from Jennifer on “how to create wealth and happiness from the inside out,” sign up at www.jenniferfaherty.com.