I don’t normally go nuts about birthdays, but mine is this Friday, and the date, 11/11/11, is pretty damn cool.
So, to celebrate I decided to share my absolute favorite way to de-stress and feel instantly energized and more creative: laugh my ass off.
Laughing releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, which may explain why a good laughing fit can make you feel as good as you would after a vigorous workout.
I often take breaks to during the day to watch a funny clip or show, reach out to a friend to remind them of a hilarious inside joke we’ve shared, or visualize a funny moment or movie clip.
When I worked in public accounting, I used to count down the days to our stress-filled busy season deadlines by sending my team a daily funny picture. It gave everyone a moment to breathe, relax, and remember not to take themselves so seriously.
If you find yourself feeling anxious, stuck, or uptight, I highly suggest taking a “laugh break” to lighten your mood, warm you up, and pump up your creativity.
Since Friday, 11/11/11 is my 30th birthday, I decided to share a list of 11 Things That Make Me Laugh My Ass Off (because it would take way too long to come up with 30 things that aren’t wildly inappropriate).
Check them out, tell me your favorite. Then it’s your turn – in the comments below, tell me: What makes YOU laugh your ass off? It would be extra-awesome if you can come up with a list of 11 too…
1. Billy Connolly.
My dad’s from Scotland, so I grew up watching videos of this brilliant Scottish comedian. We would gather in the family room to watch his tapes (that we had to play on our special UK video player since they didn’t fit in an America VHS player) and laugh our arses off.
It gets scary at times because my dad laughs so hard that he can’t breathe – he even fell off the sofa once during a fit.
Here’s one of my favorite bits on deep sea creatures (if you don’t like the f-word, you might not want to effing watch this one):
2. So I Married An Axe Murderer.
Another nod to my Scottish heritage, Mike Myers playing the Scottish dad is priceless: “Give your mother a kiss or I’ll kick your teeth in!“.
3. “Buckle This!
” – Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet in Spaceballs. A few years ago in one of my corporate positions my boss told me to run a financial report and I instinctively (and unintentionally) responded with, “Run this.”
4. Alec Baldwin as “The Generalissimo”
in an episode of 30 Rock – as the villain in Selma Hayek’s grandmother’s telenovela. Terrific.
5. Conan O’Brien.
When I need a pick-me-up, I’ll just watch his most recent monologue. Love him!
6. Sharpie moustaches.
In high school, my friend “Steve” “fell asleep” at a party. While he was sleeping, “Robert”, took the opportunity to draw a nice, sturdy moustache on him with a sharpie.
Later that night we learned that slumbering Steve was supposed to speak at church the next morning. Picturing him with the sharpie moustache speaking at church still gets me going today. (By the way, he managed to wash it off before mass).
7. “The Simpsons Go to Brazil” Episode.
The pilot announcing that the local temperature is “Hot! Hot! Hot!“, the conga line shuttle, the hotel staff playing soccer with the luggage, the sexy Brazilian version of Sesame Street, the “penetrada” dance, ah so much good stuff.
8. People getting hurt
(Relax, just a wee bit hurt). In middle school our gym teacher, Mr. Lombardo, had us compete in an obstacle course during “gymnastics week”. We were being timed. The course:
Run over the horse, then do a somersault over a wedge-shaped cushion on the floor, then run over and climb the monkey bars along the wall, jump off and run to the balance beam, etc.
“Matt”, an eager and overly competitive student decided to save time after his spastic somersault by leaping to the monkey bars, which ran parallel to a concrete wall, from 5 feet away. His right hand made it, his left did not, sending him to splat against the concrete wall and slide down to the floor, Looney Tunes-style. HIL-ARIOUS.
Best part was, he got right up and kept going!
9. The opening credits to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“.
10. The Saturday Night Live Sexual Harassment PSA Spoof with Tom Brady.
11. Dogs Riding in Cars.
When I would visit home from college, I would bring our family Bernese Mountain Dog, Hudson, in the car with me to go pick my little sister up from school.
I’d crack the back windows and adjust the mirrors so I could watch him stick his nose in the air with this eyes closed and giggle the entire way to school. Probably not that safe, but worth it.
Ok now it’s your turn. What makes YOU laugh your ass off? It would be extra-awesome if you can come up with a list of 11 too!