Laughter is the best medicine
Laughing is easily one of my favourite things to do. It wasn’t until I caught up with some old friends a couple of nights ago for dinner that I realised—OMG—I haven’t laughed like this in such a long time. It was the type of laughter where I had tears streaming down my face and when I laugh like this my nose turns up, I can’t even help it, so I have to put my hands over my face to hide it. My cheek bones were literally sore from laughing, and I had soaked serviettes from wiping away the tears.
The banter across the table amongst friends, along with some good food and great company was just what I needed, and it’s something I need to make more time in my life to do. I think sometimes it’s easy to forget to come up for air, to just let go and not take life too seriously.
For some, this time of the year can be exciting. We are heading into Christmas with statutory holidays coming our way, which means long weekends and more time to do the things we love. However for some, it is also one of the most stressful times of the year. It’s a mish-mash of a ‘just hanging in there’ period. Hanging in there to finish up work and enjoy some time off with family and friends, or hanging in there till they go on that holiday they’ve been waiting for all year. Or hanging out for Christmas. Perhaps some people may even feel this has been one of the most stressful years yet (do you find you say that every year?!).
I have had many highs and many lows this year as I am sure we all have. I think it’s important to remind ourselves to not let the lows outweigh the highs, and become overwhelmed. Life absolutely is a rollercoaster, and experiences are different for everyone, we all have our limits and thresholds. But if in amongst it all you can remember to laugh, you’ll be rewarded. After all, it’s a well-known fact that laughter is the best medicine.
If you can find a little time, take a look at this article which discusses the many benefits of laughter – http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/9-surprising-benefits-laughter-you-need-know.html
Below I’ve listed a few key points from the article which I really liked, combined with some quirky quotes. Hopefully you will find a favourite for yourself…
Laughter stimulates your full body, it can leave you feeling energised and refreshed
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” — Audrey Hepburn
Laughter acts as an anti-depressant, releases endorphins “the feel good hormone” and serotonin; it relieves pain.
“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.” — Charlie Chaplin
Laughter boosts your mood and confidence
“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.” — Bob Newhart
Laughter reduces blood pressure and promotes heart health
“A sense of humour … is needed armour. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” — Hugh Sidey
Laughter increases immunity – a hearty laugh fuels your immune system
“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.” — George Gordon Byron
Laughter bonds people
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” — Victor Borge
Laughter burns calories
“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” — Robert Frost
Laughter helps you stress less
“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” — Kurt Vonnegut
When you are feeling overwhelmed, or life is getting a bit heavy on those shoulders, do something that makes you laugh, even if it’s something as simple as catching up with some old friends. I know that sometimes it can feel like the last thing you want to do; you’re too tired or you’re too busy. But even so, I recommend taking a step back to put things into perspective. When did you last have a good laugh where your stomach ached? Think about your sanity, a good laugh is so good for the soul!