Have you ever heard a person's laughter that was so funny it left you, in stitches? My childhood friend and neighbor, Douglas Horton was just such a person. He would laugh and anyone around him would be drawn in and explode with laughter. You didn't know what or why he was laughing, you just followed suit. Most will agree laughter is contagious...humor is infectious!
Sometimes, laughter is hard for us, especially having burdens and being weighed down with today's economical and social problems, and the troubled times we live in. But, laughter makes you feel better and those feelings remain with you even after the laughter subsides.
Guilt feelings can rob you of joy, but laughter distresses and helps with overwhelming feelings. The sound of roaring laughter is more easily spread than any cough or sneeze.
When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increasees happiness. In addition to this domino effect of joy, laughter can trigger healthy changes in the body such as: protecting you from the damaging effects of stress, boost energy, prevents heart disease and diminish pain. How do you feel after you've had a good laugh? Are you relaxed all over? Less physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed?
Mentally, you feel joy, and your mood is improved, it enhances your resilience. Socially, you attract others to you because of your good mood. Laughter strengthens relationships and promotes group bonding.
Even though we haven't seen Douglas for years, we still have thoughts of him and his laughter. Now, my husband keeps us in stitches with his infectious and hearty "belly laughs". When all of us are together, there's enjoyment and much laughter. Laughter truly is strong medicine and a powerful antidote in mind and body.
Nothing works better faster or more consistently to bring our mind and body back into balance than a good hearty laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, alert, and focused. Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health!
More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh or even a smile can go a long way toward making you feel better. Just hearing someone laughing primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in, because shared laughter is more powerful than laughing alone.
Also, humor along with forgiveness, is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Bring more humor into your life. Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is natural. If you don't laugh a lot, start now in order to reap the many benefits laughter affords! And, Douglas, if you are near, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
This is one of many articles for the newspaper column by Loretta entitled: At Home With Loretta