“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.”
~ Veronica Roth, Divergent
I love to laugh. Often. Every day if I can. My favorite scene in Mary Poppins is where they go to visit Mary’s Uncle Albert. He’s singing “I Love to Laugh” and he is floating about the room. I totally buy the lines:
- The more I laugh
The more I fill with glee
And the more the glee
The more I’m a merrier me
There is plenty of research that suggests laughter is good medicine. It helps with stress and pain, and may even speed up healing. A good, hearty laugh can leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes. Laughter can improve your resistance to disease because it decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. The pain-reducing properties of laughter is caused by the increased production of endorphins when we laugh. Endorphins are hormones that make us feel good. Laughter is also good for your heart. It improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow. These physiological changes can help protect against a heart attack and other heart-related issues.
Today’s Journal Exercise:
Spend 15 minutes — straight — laughing. You can either just start laughing and see how that starts the ball rolling. Or you can prime the pump by watching a comedy or reading some humor. Allow yourself to get lost in the laughter.
Now get out your journal and write about how you felt before and after your laughing session. What was the difference? If you decided to just start laughing, how did that work for you? Did you find yourself really laughing after a bit?
To get you started, here are some resources for finding things to make you laugh:
YouTube — There are videos of funny animals, funny kids, funny people. There are video clips of standup comedy routines and humorous TV shows. There are even “re-edited” clips from favorite TV shows and movies. If there is something that will make you laugh, you can probably find it on YouTube.
Google — You can use this search engine to find just about anything funny you can think of: jokes, videos, humorous essays.
Comedy and Spoof Websites: I’m most familiar with The Onion, which posts humorous fake news stories, but I’ve heard of similar sites that spoof college life, Catholic life, and more.
The Library — Your local library is sure to have books of jokes, humorous memoirs, comedy novels and collections of funny short stories. I’m a big fan of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker and Dirk Gently series, as well as Robert Asprin’s M.Y.T.H. series. Currently, I’m reading Jesse Petersen‘s series about a couple living in the Zombie Apocalypse. And, of course, much of what you can find in the Library can also be found at your local book store or on Amazon.com.
Did you find something particularly funny to laugh at today? Share it with us in the Facebook group and/or in a comment below. Feeling bold? Take a selfie — either static picture or video — of you laughing and share it, as well. Be sure to include the hashtag #CelebrateYou.