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Girls in art studio laughing

I like a guffaw or a titter, and I'm quite fond of an occasional cackle

Written by UAL Awarding Body
Published date 11 December 2019

As Lead Happiness Consultant with Laughology, Dave Keeling has worked both nationally and internationally in business and education for over 20 years. Dave delivers outstanding training on topics as wide ranging as risk taking, curiosity, change management, leadership, thinking skills, communication and well-being. Highly engaging, dynamic, fast-paced and quick-witted, Dave Keeling is 6ft 2in, blue eyed and a little bit ginger and believes that within that description lies a little bit of something for everyone! He’ll be speaking at the upcoming UAL Awarding Body Annual Conference on 7 February 2020. As a taster of what’s to come, he’s shared his thoughts on the importance of laughter…

I like a guffaw or a titter, and I'm quite fond of an occasional cackle.

In fact, I love laughing probably more than most. I dedicated my life to the pursuit of giggling like a schoolboy at anything and everything. If too much time has passed in a meeting or during a dinner my brain will be working a hundred miles an hour to look for the possibility of the next snort, giggle or chuckle, call it what you will.

Why do I like laughing so much?

Coz it’s good for me, and it’s good for you too; dear reader.

Whenever we laugh our brain releases naturally occurring neurochemicals called endorphins that make us feel happier, boosts our immune system, relaxes the whole body, decreases stress hormones, protects heart and according to some, makes you more attractive, (fingers crossed).

“Even if there is nothing to laugh about laugh on credit” - Anonymous

Our ability then to change our moods as a result of a change in our actions is because we are what has been called ‘psychophysical beings”. In other words, our minds affect our bodies and our bodies affect our minds. So, the fastest way to change your mind is to change the way you behave and vice versa.

Furthermore, our ability to shift our state and impact the mood (positively) of not just ourselves but those around us gives us a much greater degree of control when it comes to our everyday interactions and engagement with others. Don’t forget that 90% of what we do is based on how we feel.

What has this got to do with good mental health?

How we feel about ourselves plays a huge role in the everyday decisions we make.

We’ve all had a day when we’re not at our best, and instead of going to the gym you go home and eat a packet of biccies. Or you’ve had a bad day at work, and as you walk up your drive, you see your loved one inside, and they are in a good mood, and you think to yourself “I am wrecking that”.

You and only you are choosing to do that.

As the saying goes “Your talent is in the choices you make.”

It doesn’t matter how clever or talented anyone is, if the choices you are making on a daily basis aren’t the right ones for you, the people around you and the environment you find yourself in, then the world doesn’t get to find out how brilliant you are, and you are brilliant!! So we have to deal with that and then more importantly do something about it.

If we can encourage and empower our young people to continue to be naturally inquisitive, to seek out and question their learning and couple that with passion, energy and desire then they will be unstoppable. And humour yes, having a laugh is your short cut to making this happen.

Happiness (or good mental health) for me personally is about making more positive choices on a more regular basis. If we look to train ourselves to step back, flip our perspectives and register how certain choices make us feel then we will begin to  have the time and power to not only be aware of our thoughts and behaviours but the confidence to change them leading to a life full of laughs, value, (did I mention laughs) positive relationships and laughs!!!

Book now to attend our Annual Conference on 7 February 2020 to hear more from Dave about how bringing playfulness to the classroom can fuel creativity.