Yesterday was World Laughter Day, celebrated on the first Sunday of May, and I thought it was a good time to write about laughter.

Warning: If you have to be reminded of the need to laugh, you really need to read this post – and fast 😉

Now, don’t get me wrong –  what this post isn’t about is Laughter Yoga or Laughter Clubs (although the founder of this also instituted World Laughter Day!). Oh, no, no, no. With apologies to those of you who might practice this, I find it odd that a group of perfectly normal human beings get together and force themselves to laugh. It’s way beyond silly, I think it’s sad. There’s so much that happens  to us and around us everyday that is funny enough. If we would just take the time to see, feel and ……laugh.

Why Have A Good Belly Laugh?

Why ever not? If you’re not a ‘believer’ here are some reasons why there’s nothing so good as a good laugh. Katherine Tapley-Milton, in her book, Devotions With Your Cat : For Those Who are Struggling, shares the benefits of laughter:

  • Laughter boosts your immune system and so helps you to fight off illnesses.  It increases the amount of immunoglobulins (antibodies), natural killer cells and T cells in the body, which fight infection and tumors.
  • Laughing reduces pain. Children watching comedy films relax more and tolerate pain more easily. In fact, humorous videos are being used in anaesthetic rooms at Manchester Children’s Hospital. An American nurse has found that telling jokes to her patients before she administers a painful treatment reduces their discomfort.
  • Laughing reduces allergic responses, including hay fever symptoms.
    Laughing lifts your mood.
    Laughing reduces the effect of stress by lowering stress hormone levels.
    Laughing helps keeps diabetes under control. It may help to control spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal, reducing the chances of diabetic complications. In one study, people who watched a funny video during dinner had lower blood sugar levels after the meal compared to the people who watched a lecture video.

There ain’t much fun in medicine, but there’s a heck of a lot of medicine in fun. ~Josh Billings

What to laugh at?

If you ask this question, you need help, my friend, but I’ll answer anyway!

  • Laugh at yourself in the mirror – what’s not to laugh at? 😉
  • Laugh when someone tells you a joke (if it’s non-racist, non-sexist and not hurtful to anyone!)
  • Laugh when you make a mistake – it will help you to feel better and to remember that mistakes are part of the whole scheme of something called ‘life’.
  • Laugh with small children. Children delight in the fundamental things – like being tickled, watching animal antics and even the sight of another child’s bottom (how much more fundamental, can you get?).
  • Laugh at situations that our out of your control. For example, you find yourself in public with your salwar worn inside out – I swear I went almost a whole day like that!
  • Laugh when your ‘best-laid plans’ go awry. You turn up to catch a flight – like my husband did – an hour later than scheduled – he set his alarm for 4.45 am instead of 3.45 am!
  • Friends can share a laugh together over the most mundane and silly things. Laugh – be silly – talk in a strange language – or chat with your friend using the worst grammar possible. I do this with my friends  Aruna. We do so often now, that when we frame correct sentences – they seem wrong!

The word “silly” derives from the Greek “selig” meaning “blessed.” There is something sacred in being able to be silly. ~ Paul Pearsall in The Heart’s Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy

Treat yourself to a laugh:

  • Watch a funny movie or a silly comedy show on TV.
  • Read a funny book.
  • Watch a stand up comedian – there’s plenty of stuff on YouTube.
  • Meet or connect with people of a similar sense of humor – share funny stories, crack jokes, and enjoy. Stay in touch during the week by e-mailing each other the best Internet humor you can access.
  • Finally, marry someone who’s crazy – you get laughs for free! José thinks I’m mad, but he tells me that’s precisely the reason he married me!

If it weren’t for the brief respite we give the world with our foolishness, the world would see mass suicide in numbers that compare favorably with the death rate of lemmings. ~  Groucho Marx

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.” - Frost 'Click To Tweet

Have a good belly laugh! That’s an order!


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