5 Ways to Laugh More, Have Fun and Relieve Stess

A Guide to Having More Fun In Your Life and Reducing Stress

senior women enjoying a board game
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Having fun is an important part of stress management. Because studies show such wonderful health and stress relief benefits to laughter (and even the anticipation of laughter) we should all work on getting more giggles into each day.

Leisure time has many wellness benefits as well. Having fun should be a priority in the life of anyone who wants better health, greater happiness and less stress. How can you argue with someone who says you should have fun and laugh more?

The reality is that many of us feel like we don't have time for fun. Between work, families and everything else we take on, fitting leisure time into our schedules becomes less of a priority. It doesn't have to be that complicated and you don't always have to 'schedule' fun! 

All you really need is a positive outlook and a desire to seek out situations that will cause you to laugh. Here are some strategies for having more fun in your life:

Have Friends Over More Often

Most people find themselves very busy these days and we're often busier than we want to be. While the activities that occupy our time are important, having fun is equally important.

While busy lifestyles can sap us of our spontaneity, having friends over and setting aside some time just to play can offer a regular outlet for having fun. It doesn't have to be formal or an event that causes more stress in your life. Just ask some friends over for tea, coffee or a beer.

It's really that simple!

Are you worried that your house is too messy to have people over? There are simple and stress-relieving methods for cleaning. You will likely find that less clutter leads to less stress anyway.

Tell Jokes

Aside from forwarding emails or sharing Facebook memes that make us chuckle, most people don’t just tell jokes anymore.

This is too bad. If you cull the internet, Reader’s Digest and other sources for just one or two good jokes, you’ll find that the laughter is often contagious. Others may share jokes right back and all of a sudden, you are having more fun in your life.

Have a Regular Game Night

Many people associate having fun with games, but how many people regularly indulge in a game night? If you're not playing games and laughing with your friends, this can be a great untapped resource for fun.  Whether you rotate hosting the game night among a group of friends, stay home and play with your family, or find a sports league or bingo night somewhere, finding a regular outlet for playing games can be a great stress reliever. It's almost guaranteed that you will have a ton of fun, too!

Be ‘In The Now’

There’s currently a lot in the media on mindfulness and "being in the now," and for good reason. When you’re basing yourself firmly in the present moment (rather than ruminating on past or anticipated stressors), you’re more open to happiness, laughter and having fun.

This can be a difficult mindset to get into, especially at first. Many people find it helpful to mentally catch and jokingly scold themselves for trying to control what they can't at the moment.

The trick is to gently catch your mind wandering to the future or the past (which will inevitably happen) and then congratulate yourself for noticing and redirect your attention to the present.

Maintain a Sense of Humor

Why should you be stressing about work when your son is so darn cute in the school play? Shame on you! (Laugh about how silly you are!)

You can turn your stresses into fun with an attitude shift if you focus on maintaining a sense of humor in your daily life. With a lighthearted attitude, events that would normally be annoying become amusing; big hassles become humorously absurd.

 Major stressors become really great stories waiting to be told. 

Having a sense of humor is a big part of having fun. It’s a way to actively seek out fun and happiness instead of waiting for it to come to you. This week, practice laughing more and stressing less.

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