Have you found it hard to laugh? Have you realized that you don’t laugh as often as you once did? It’s time to prime the pump. From Dictionary.com, the phrase “prime the pump” comes from pouring water into a pump to expel the air and get the pump working.

So how do we prime the laughter pump? With a few laughing exercises. You’ll enjoy these exercises and the only pain may be the ache in your sides from laughing too much! If you’re familiar with vocal exercises for singing and speaking, these will be similar.

  1. Take a deep breath. As you slowly exhale, repeat a “laughter syllable” such as ha, ho, he or hu (who). Example: ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Maybe this is where I need to insert an audio clip. 🙂  Repeat several times increasing the speed at which you exhale and utter the syllable.
  2. Similar to the first one except vary the syllable as you exhale. So it would sound like: ha, ho, he, hu. Repeat the pattern until it’s time to take another breath.
  3. Just laugh – force a ha, ha, ha or ho, ho, ho. Try it when you’re thinking about something that is stressful. A report by the Mayo Clinic shares some of the short- and long-term benefits of laughter. The second page gives some additional ways to add more laughter to your life.

Share your experiences or variations on these exercises. Happy laughing!