Stress Relief May be as Close as a Good Belly Laugh


Have you ever completely lost your composure to the point that you fell out of your seat and couldn’t utter a single word?

My favorite memory of that sort of thing is a little embarrassing, but here it goes. My best friend and I were about 7 or 8 years old hanging out on my bed, giggling about something silly when I started laughing so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. I fell against the wall and we both slid to the floor– the bed skidding to the middle of the room.

That wasn’t the end of it. Besides landing hard on our tail bones, we laid there holding our stomachs still hysterically doubled over after recognizing that we had both wet our pants.

Fortunately, I can handle laughter a little better these days. The memory of moments like that still makes me smile and partly because of the pure joy I felt in the moment as well as afterward. My friend still reminds me about that to this day, obviously to help me should I lose my marbles.

It’s pretty common knowledge that laughter is a “best” medicine. Science over the years has proven the value of humor to improve health and the very disposition of finding the lighter side of life. One of my current friends (who doesn’t wet her pants) is a huge fan of humor. She is witty enough to be a stand-up comic. In keeping with her character, she sent me some awesome jokes about BOTH candidates during the election and we’ve been getting the biggest kick out of Bernie!

The health benefits and stress relief tied to laughter is no joke. A good chuckle increases the endorphins that are released by your brain and those feel good chemicals cool the jets of our stress hormones, stimulating our vital organs like the heart and lungs. Our immune system benefits as well as our emotional state. Creating a stronger connection with fellow humans (or pets) is another valuable aspect of the giggles. Sharing a laugh will engage your emotions and strengthen attachments.

Even if you don’t think you have the wit of my dear friend, you can improve your ability to identify what’s funny in this crazy world and connect with others in the vein of humor. Look for funny stories or jokes and allow yourself time to release worries and anxiety by focusing on that ridiculous mem of Bernie circling the globe right now. We were made to laugh – so join in (and try to stay in your chair).

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