Have you ever done a fake laugh and started laughing for real? Do you know someone that laughs at his or her own jokes? Have you been around that person and you start to laugh?
Well, I have and I love to be around those people. I do not want to sit and complain about everything that is going wrong all the time. Life is stressful enough without harping on it. I have a friend who has a unique statement. Whenever someone brings the mood down or is just being plain boring he tells them, “You’re draining me.” You must do your best to remove those Negative Nancy’s and those Debbie Downers out of your life, unless, of course, if you are married to them. Then I don’t know what to tell you…good luck.
We need to laugh. As I researched this topic, I learned that we laugh mostly when there is an incongruity. Something does not line up with what we expect. It goes against the norm. That causes us to laugh. I had a light bulb flash; an ah-ha moment if you will. This explains why throughout my life I can talk to people and they will start laughing at me, especially women. In those times I am not trying to be funny. (In Fact, when I am trying to be funny, I hear crickets.) Now I know it’s not me. I’m just incongruous. That’s all.
There are several benefits to laughing.
- Laughing just feels good. It makes you feel happy, calm and relaxed.
- Laughing is contagious. Start laughing and watch how many people automatically start laughing. They might laugh with you. They might laugh at you. Either way, they are laughing.
- Laughing is the gift that keeps on giving. You should pay it forward. One year for someone’s birthday or on Christmas, do not buy anything. When they are standing there with their hands open waiting on their gift, just start laughing. Step back and watch the joy that begins to flood their face.
- The Bible says “Laughter doeth good like a medicine.” Well, it actually says “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine,” but you get the point.
- Laughter improves your heart rate and respiration
- Laugher relieves stress.
- Laughter helps fight depression.
- Laughter releases endorphins. These are the bodies “happy drug.” Endorphins relieve pain and create a sense of euphoria. Your brain receives a chemical reaction similar to working out or sex. So, if you are single like me, you need to have a whole lot of laughter in your life to help release some pent up frustration. Or for a double dose you can laugh while you are working out or running. And don’t worry about if people give you the side eye. It’s okay. Just tell them I am taking my medicine.
One interesting fact: Did you know that the body does not know the difference between a fake laugh and a real one? So, it does not matter if there is anything funny or not. Just incorporate laughter into your diet. Walk around the house laughing; while you are cleaning up or washing the dishes; when your boss gets on your nerves; while you are stuck in traffic. I guarantee you will feel better.