There was this really stupid/awesome thing I used to do as a joke with my friends when I was a junior in high school. We would Try and laugh with out smiling. I mean genuinely laugh without smiling.
$1 says you’re trying it right now as you read this.
It’s harder than it sounds!
Here’s the beginning of this whole “laugh without smiling” thing:
The year was 2008. I died my hair brown. I thought I was super trendy. I wore weird hats and scarves. I also tried to laugh without smiling with my friends. The result was awesome.
Just notice how in this video, us trying to laugh without smiling ultimately leads to a genuine laugh. It’s almost impossible not to burst out laughing when you try this technique.
Laughing makes you happy. It lowers stress. It’s therapeutic.
You might feel like an idiot while doing this, but you won’t if you make your friends do it with you as well. Up to this day, almost every person I’ve ever met, no matter how shy or reserved or serious they may be, crack a genuine smile when I challenge them to this.
I always used this as an ice breaker or something funny to do when out with my friends, but it hit me the other day that this is actually an amazingly therapeutic exercise for stress release!
Try it with your friends! Challenge someone to laugh without smiling! Best case scenario, you feel great and relieved of some stress. Worse case scenario, you end up laughing. It’s a win-win in my opinion.
So… can you laugh without smiling? Can you?