This has been a hard couple of months. I have found that, in the midst of grief, despair, anger, depression, fear and worry, that laughter can quite literally save your life. It’s doing it for me right now:
When I have a bad day, I choose laughter.
When everything turns to poo, I choose laughter.
When grief overwhelms me, I choose laughter.
When I feel I’ve lost my way, I choose laughter.
When I am on the precipice, I choose laughter.
When I feel I’ve lost myself, I choose laughter.
When the world around me is too much, I choose laughter.
When there is too much going on, I choose laughter.
When I despair, I choose laughter.
And did you know this (from the Mayo Clinic website):
“A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”
Laughter can come to us from the most unexpected places, too. Example: the Crankee Yankee and I were driving up to our local Chinese restaurant last night, and on the way we passed a business called “Mapletree.”
Well, my mind often goes off on its own little journeys. I thought that the sign said “Maple FREE,” and I said, ‘since when did a business have to be maple free? Are people now allergic to maple?!’
As soon as the Crankee Yankee could get his breath back from laughing, he told me that I had misread the sign, but had made a great joke.