“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.” Bill Cosby

As Bill Cosby suggests, finding humor in everyday life even makes you a more optimistic person. And true, genuine, upbeat people have magnetic personalities.

Scientists seem to agree that a good laugh is a powerful emotional and mental health booster. Laughing can relieve stress, give you a mini internal workout, and is a powerful connection agent for interpersonal communication. 

Haven’t let out a solid chuckle in a while? Here are a few ideas to get you bustin’ a gut:

– Check out a local improv comedy troupe. I have a monthly date with a friend to catch a Saltine Warriors improv show in Syracuse, NY. The best part of improv is that the audience’s involvement is critically important for the funny factor of the show. Don’t be surprised if you’re pulled up on stage! This is a great opportunity to laugh at others and yourself. If you’re especially daring, join an improv class in your area. Laugh and meet other laugh seekers and laugh makers.

– Go to the local video store and rent a funny movie or a season of The Office. Get up early on your day off, pop in a DVD and laugh your face off for a few hours. Or get a few friends together for a casual night in. Pop some corn and chill in your sweats. Add a glass of wine and you’re sure to get max laughter.

– Have a vulgar streak? Then Saturday Night Live digital shorts are for you! Get your fill of dirty jokes and wacky song spoofs. Two of my personal favorites feature Justin Timberlake. “Dick in a box” even won an Emmy! Follow up that gem with part two, “Motherlover.” NBC.com and Hulu.com allow you to watch loads of these videos for free! It takes two minutes to register for a free Hulu account.

– Kids have the most honest, pure sense of humor. If you have little ones of your own, nieces and/or nephews, ask them what their favorite jokes are. There are also plenty of hilarious videos of funny kids on YouTube. “Charlie bit my finger” is a classic. A recent favorite video features a little boy dancing like a hip hop maniac.