Laughter is very serious business. Just ask John Cleese, who sings the praises of spontaneous laughter—“he who laughs most, learns best”—and believes “true laughter… destroys any kind of system of dividing people.” The Mayo Clinic is also big on laughing, since it not only “lightens your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body, stimulating organs and circulation and relaxing muscles.” Here are some ways to stimulate your laugh muscle.
1. Fake it ’til you make it
Having one of those days that makes you want to gouge your eyes out? Try faking a laugh. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can turn into the real thing. If you do it with someone else, it will be infectious.
2. Join (or start) a laughter yoga club
Yes, laughter yoga is a thing. No, there are no downward dogs or chaturangas here—but there are quality chuckles and good times to be had. The practice, conceived in the ‘90s in a public park in Mumbai, India, involves gathering in a group, getting silly, and faking laughter while making eye contact with others until you start genuinely laughing. Look for a laughter yoga club in your city at laughteryoga.org.