friends

When is the last time that you laughed so hard that your cheeks hurt? That you couldn’t catch your breath? That you cried? Life is short and the benefits of laughter are crucial components to a joyful life – and it’s even better when you have a friend by your side.

Make the benefits of laughter the theme of your summer and seek out the giggles wherever you can! Try the following ideas for inspiration:

1. Improv Comedy – Most big cities have an improv comedy troupe that puts on low-cost shows on a weekly basis. Improv shows are fun because the audience is usually encouraged to participate in the performances by coming up with ideas – and sometimes coming onto the stage!

2. Game Night – Invite some easygoing friends over for an evening of Scattergories, Cranium, Taboo or another interactive game. Go buy one if you have to – or stay on budget and play charades. Spend the night laughing at and with each other.

3. Dog Park – Let’s face it: dogs are idiots. Hang out with a shaggy group of canines at the dog park for a while, and you can’t help but laugh at their antics.

4. Amusement Park – Combining fear, fun and excitement, theme parks give you plenty of ways to laugh. Don’t take the kids – instead, sneak off so that you can ride what you want to ride, see the shows you want to see and not have to babysit for one moment.

5. Stupid Funny Movies – Think about that silly, stupid movie that they’ve been advertising that sounds funny, but you’re embarrassed to go. Now go! Or just check your local cinema listings, pick a comedy you haven’t heard of and buy a ticket. Bring your friend who loves to laugh.

6. Magic Shows – An equal mix of laughter and amazement, a magic show will bring out the kid in you. Buy tickets to a local legend and don’t try to figure out the tricks; just enjoy the show.

7. Dance Class – If you’re uncoordinated, that’s even better. Sign up for a dance class: ’80s dance, hip hop funk, Zumba, whatever – and giggle your way through the steps with one of your funny friends. Dancing isn’t serious, it’s fun!

8. Stand-Up Comedy – The best way to experience a stand-up comedy show is with your friends and sitting in the front row if possible. The comedian will probably make fun of you all. If you don’t like raunchy comedy, be sure to check out the performer before you buy tickets and are embarrassed by crude jokes.

9. Pool Games – Lounging at the poolside in the sun is fabulously relaxing, but playing a game of Marco Polo will have you laughing as you try to evade capture. Gather a small group and hit the pool for a fun volleyball game, diving competition or splash war. Don’t be too cool for pool.

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” ~ Andrew Carnegie

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Image: Pepe Pont