Ever notice that when you are having a bad day, or are so overly irritated with your significant other, co-worker, sibling, best friend, etc., a laugh can change the entire day and/or situation? You feel better in your body, the crankiness dissipates, you reconnect with that person, and you feel human again.
Laughter does that. It bonds us, benefitting relationships and our own sense of well-being. It has a host of physical benefits: burns calories, reduces stress, releases endorphins, increases immune system function, and supports our heart health. Having laughter in our lives benefits our mental and emotional health by reducing anxiety, increasing relaxation, and supporting resilience. Wow. If this were a prescription drug we’d be in line now.
In this article about the benefits of laughter, there is a great list of ideas about how to bring more laughter into your life. Spending time with funny people, doing something silly, and sharing a joke or funny story are some of the suggestions.
Here’s something to get you started: a video of a juggler explaining the benefits of laughter - funny and silly! Maybe taking up juggling might be one of your new hobbies!
I’m lucky to have grown up with some silliness in my own family. Don’t get my mom and dad started with my daughter about the Snallygaster. My Grandmother Martha used to tell slightly smutty jokes with such cool elegance she would have had the queen giggling into her teacup. And my Grandmother Bootsie, with her incredible resilience and a twinkle in her eye, offered me this wisdom gleaned from her lifetime of physical challenges: “Well, you can laugh or you can cry. So you may as well laugh.”
(Originally published July 14, 2022)
Jacqueline Denny, ACC, CHPC, LMT