As well as being just plain good fun, laughing has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure, improve concentration and alleviate anxiety, stress and depression. People who often laugh and smile are more likely to earn more money, live longer and have better health, are found more attractive by others and have better relationships too.
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to laugh on command; aside from the fact that it might be the last thing we feel like doing when we feel down, it’s also possible that we could attract some strange looks if we amble the streets giggling to ourselves. But we don’t need to attend a comedy club or tell bad jokes in order to get chuckling, in fact, NLP coach Lesley Lyle says humour doesn’t need to be involved at all, and uses unconditional laughter, the kind where you can laugh alone or with others, for no reason at all other than to feel happy.
Here are Lyle’s techniques for laughing on your own:
Laugh Your Way to Happiness: Use The Science Of Laughter For Total Wellbeing by Lesley Lyle (Watkins, £8.99).
Photograph: Plain Picture/Johner
Read Happiness comes from giving, not buying or having by Dr Steve Taylor on LifeLabs