By now you’re probably aware that Denmark ranks #1 for reported levels of happiness, but what are the contributing factors to this happiness? Many experts cite a high level of social cohesion as just one of the many reasons attributed to the Danish happiness – many Danes belong to social clubs and participate in volunteer work. An excellent work-life balance also means that time with family and friends is simply a high priority here. This is why I turned to Thomas Flindt, laughter expert and author of Happy Lemons, to find inspiration on how to use laughter to connect with others – everyone from family to strangers.
Laughter in love
When we are in love, we simply laugh more – we communicate our love with laughter. Thomas believes this is true because when we are in love, we are living more in the present moment and we use laughter to express our acceptance and feelings towards the other person.
If you are still searching for your one and only, laughter can help you there too. Laughter provides positive energy vibrations which attract other positive people to you – you get what you vibrate! Laughter also increases the blood flow to the blood capillaries in your skin, giving it a nice glow and thus making you more attractive.
laughter in friendships
Laughter opens your heart – it is difficult to hate the person you are laughing with. Over our lives, many of the strongest friendships we make are with the people we have shared good times with. When we laugh, our bodies produce a whole range of good hormones such as oxytocin which creates a brilliant environment for us to bond with others. Laughter is therefore the perfect shortcut to building a stronger sense of connectedness no matter where we find ourselves.
laughter in the family
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of everyday life, but laughter can alleviate much of this stress and promote well-being and relaxation. Laughter lightens our moods, and the moods of those nearest to us, so incorporating humour into our family lives can brighten the connection we have with those we see everyday.
Laughter also improves relationships with the children in our families (whether they are our children or young cousins, nieces, nephews, etc.). I remember that I was always able to communicate with my younger cousins who didn’t speak English through the shared experience of laughter. Children can be our greatest teachers of happiness if we let them be.
laughter at work
One of they key components of Danish work happiness/arbejdsglaede is good relationships with colleagues. Laughter in the office can release creative energy and promote problem-solving activities. You can use laughter to diffuse conflict and work towards group bonding – a team that laughs together is better able to handle challenges effectively.
Thomas has visited many work teams and introduced them to laughter sessions intended to promote better staff relations and a better working environment. He believes these sessions work because they allow employees to be more open and have faith in each other.
laughter With Strangers
Danes don’t generally talk to strangers in public, so this tip is inspired by my own American upbringing. Studies have shown that interaction with strangers can make you happier; commuters in Chicago who interacted with others around them on public transportation a more positive commute than those who sat in silence/isolation. One of the best ways to connect with strangers is to make them laugh. People enjoy others who can make them laugh; it all goes back to those positive energy vibrations and how much more open we become when we laugh. Try getting out of your own head and see what happens when you are able to connect with strangers through laughter.
Laughter is an important tool we can use to connect with others in all of our relationships – even strangers! Laughing with others is far more powerful than laughing alone. For more laughter inspiration, check out Thomas’ book, Happy Lemons.
by Thomas Flindt, The Laughter Guru
Available in print and digital.
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