So it's not exactly a secret that laughter is good for your health. Benefits include boosting immune function, decreasing stress, and even helping regulate blood sugar levels.
There are so few "to do" list items on any healthy living agenda that are pleasant and free! Well, aside from that obvious activity that happens in the bedroom. (Oh, and sex... that's good too! But I meant sleep. And scoff not, youngsters... as hormones change, so, sadly enough, do priorities.)
Anyway, laughter has other practical benefits as well. So maybe it's a good time to move "laugh more" up a few notches on your self improvement list? So sorry about that, "floss more often" "eat more broccoli" and "do Tabatas twice a week."
We gotta go find us some giggles.
Stealing from Charlotte Again
Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment had an awesome post the other day on the importance of smiling and of laughter in improving one's mood. And it reminded me of another interesting bit of productivity advice from a cool book I've been reading. (Your Brain at Work, by David Rock; thanks Tim for the suggestion.)
Let's say, hypothetically, that it's Monday and you're depressed and unmotivated and having trouble concentrating on what you're supposed to be doing. (Gosh, imagine that!) A quick way to increase your brainpower is to boost your flagging dopamine levels. And what's one way to do that?
Immerse yourself in something high-minded and educational!
No? Well instead, why not go find something funny and laugh at it?
Laughing can fake out your brain into a state of alert interest that can carry over into the task at hand, allowing you to dive back in to even the most tedious, pointless or punitive work assignment without feeling the need to slit your wrists. Er... I mean, increased dopamine will help you rise to all the satisfying challenges your rewarding fulfilling job has to offer, so you can be the best employee ever!
But trying to order up a quick hit of laughter can be tricky. Walking up to the asshat senior VP with the hideous comb-over, overpowering cologne and bushy nostril hair, peering right at him, and then bursting out laughing in his face because he's such a douchebucket.... may get your dopamine flowing but might not be the best your career move. Or spending 6 hours websurfing on Funny or Die looking for Funny and finding only Die? Well, it's better than xeroxing your ass and posting it on Facebook, but still there's still probably room for improvement.
In fact, wouldn't it be helpful to have some go-to websites for a reliably quick laugh already book-marked on your computer? Yes it would, godamnit! But it's not something I've taken the time to do recently. I've got a few, but Charlotte's post was a reminder that I need some help.
And ideas from other
Charlotte, mentioned above, besides being consistently hilarious herself always finds good stuff. She had me giggling over Ellen Degeneres clips like this one. I don't tend to watch daytime tv, so I totally missed this--thanks Charlotte!
I also forgot about Damn You Auto Correct which can get me snickering, cackling, chuckling, and otherwise making a spectacle of myself when I remember to visit.
(Note: individual autocorrect excerpts are often off-color and may seem Not All that Funny out of context. But beware: if you go to the actual site, the cumulative effect of so many humiliating miscommunications may cause unseemly snorting and increased risk of urinary incontinence.)
I love The Oatmeal, even when it features locker room humor or cheerfully disgusting lewd and violent pterodactyl videos.
The Onion is funny sometimes, and the Daily Show often has good segments. But many of my former sources for humor are either kaput now, or, like College Humor or Cracked or Oddee (good for photoshop blunders etc) or Funny or Die or the Lolcat Empire (with spinoffs like Failblog) sometimes contain so many duds it's hard to find your way to snortworthiness.
And hey, with spectacularly coincidental timing, as I was writing this post I got an email introduction to a site called The Celebrity Cafe, which among other humor compilations has a list of 10 funniest dog videos and 10 funniest cat videos.
So here's one for the cat folks:
And one for the puppydog lovers:
There are also lots of funny bloggers out there like Bossy and The Bloggess, and no doubt many more I don't know about yet. But somehow I just don't make blog rounds like I used to.
So I'm on the hunt for ideas... I imagine there are lots of creative folks out there doing funny stuff and I'm too lazy to go out scouting. Especially cool would be humor that appeals to women and not just college fratboys. (Damn I miss Sarah Haskins in Target Women!) Though I can laugh at fratboy stuff too.
If you've got some good sites or clips, please leave suggestions and/or urls in the comments and if they seem like something other folks might like too I'll move 'em up to the main post.
Do you guys take humor breaks? If so, where the hell do you go on the web to do that?
(Laughing donkey photo by: jaxxon. Farewell to Arms cartoon by Natalie Dee)