The main challenge you face if/when you want to laugh in any public environment is your own mental conditioning of what you think you can and cannot do. It’s a big list of should and should nots, and it is self-imposed.

First things first: be clear on what it is you are trying to achieve. Do this for you, not for “them.” Laughing for “their benefit” is never authentic, lacks power, and can very easily be perceived as a form of aggression. Don’t go there. It’s unnecessary. Do it for you, that is: with them if they want to join or without them if they don’t. This is entirely different.

Next: you know rationally that laughing is good for you and hurts nobody else, so practice doing it over and over. Start with a smile. Once comfortable, upgrade to a giggle. The next step is to laugh freely and openly, because you can, whenever you want to.

It may help you to a) not make eye contact with anybody around you and b) find a socially acceptable way to do it. This could be putting a headset on your head, or a cellphone to your ear.

A different – clever – way is to get people to play, because playfulness naturally leads to laughter. Start blowing soap bubbles. Every time you make eye contact with someone, give them a bottle and invite them to do the same (buy them inexpensively at You will soon hear lots of laughter.

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