Laughter. Today, I’m grateful for laughter.
Last night, a member of our household returned from a trip. He’d gotten sick just before his flight home, which made for miserable plane ride. Now, the circumstance didn’t have a shred of humor in it. Not until my hubby got involved in the conversation.
He proceeded to tell of a time that he had similar symptoms when on a trip across the ocean. He described his reaction, complete with sound effects. The three of us laughed so hard we couldn’t sit up straight.
For a few minutes, we forgot his misery as we shared Roy’s hilarious memories.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We don’t think illness is funny. Nor do we dismiss another’s problems. Instead, we look at ourselves, our own reactions, and look for the humor.
It helps us cope to laugh at our mistakes, and the silly things we do. Laughter can diffuse a tense situation. It helps us look past the walls that we sometimes build around us.
Laughter releases endorphins (a feel-good hormone) which can ease stress, boost our immune system, improve our mood, increase our pain tolerance, and improve our cardiovascular health. Wow, all that from a good joke. It also releases the neurotransmitter dopamine. Think of this as a reward for our brain, which may motivate us to continue with our laughter. Maybe that’s why when I start to laugh, I can’t stop and everything sounds funny.
Maybe we should change the saying from “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” to “A laugh a day keeps the doctor away.”
Think of the last time you shared a belly laugh with someone. It felt pretty wonderful, didn’t it?
I love to laugh. I’m grateful for laughter, and the forty-two years with a husband who can make me to laugh so hard that I can’t breathe.