Healing Laughter

Laughter has proven to be a very healing experience. Some people with serious illnesses have successfully laughed themselves back to health. When you laugh, there is an actual chemical release in your body that helps you relax, release stress, and feel good. On the contrary, when you take things too seriously, your body constricts; therefore, you are likely to feel stressed and create dis-ease.

Seeing the humor in situations is very healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally. The key is your perception of the event and if you take it personally or not.

For example, my friend Gail and I were in a supermarket and we wanted to purchase a small, round watermelon. We were examining it to figure out if it was a good one. Suddenly, the melon dropped out of my hands, and when it hit the floor there was a slit on the top three quarters. Gail and I laughed so hard that our eyes were tearing. When I picked up the melon, I realized that the incident allowed me to see how red and delicious it looked on the inside. We carefully placed it in a plastic bag and took it to the cashier.

When we told her what had happened, she offered us another watermelon. I laughed and replied, “No thank you. We know this is a good one.” It turned out to be a great melon and a wonderful, healing laughing experience.

If we had issues of feeling clumsy, stupid, or not good enough, we could have felt bad or embarrassed. Feeling none of these negative thoughts, we were able to see the humor in the situation.

Unexpectedly, the incidents that day continued. We opened the side door of my minivan to put the groceries inside. Fortunately, I had turned around in time to see the shopping cart rolling off the sidewalk and heading towards Gail. I warned her in time for her to stop it from crashing into her. Once again, we were laughing hysterically.

Once again, we could have felt scared, angry, embarrassed, or frustrated. Instead we chose to enjoy the humorous situation of this shopping cart, for no obvious reason, having a mind of its own and deciding to meet us at the car door.

The following are some suggestions to help you experience more humor in your daily life.

Put a check next to the suggestions you are doing or want to do.

I am ….

1. Looking for the humor in situations.

2. Reading funny books/magazines/papers.

3. Watching movie and television comedies.

4. Telling kind jokes.

5. Writing funny poems/stories/articles.

6. Initiating “Tell a Joke Evenings” with my friends/family or organization.

7. Sharing with others the funniest things that have happened to me.

8. Asking other people to tell me the amusing things that they have heard about or experienced.

9. Daily practicing healing laughter by saying “HA” until I am spontaneously laughing from my belly. (For excellent results, I am working myself up to do this for 15 minutes a day.)

10. Other __

I suggest that you schedule the things that you want to do to have more healing laughter in your life and enjoy the mental, emotional, and physical benefits. Laughter is free, wonderful “medicine”.