Laughter: Medicine for the Soul

Pholf29One night I returned home from a late meeting to discover that something or someone was in my basement.  Brenda wanted to call 911 but I thought the baseball bat under my bed was sufficient to deal with the situation.  As I got to the bottom of the stairs we heard a loud banging sound followed by a scream.  Brenda immediately called 911 and I put on my pants just in case something happened to me.  I wouldn’t want my body to be traced with white chalk in my boxers!  Funny the things you think of when you think you have a crazy person in your basement.

The police were at our home within minutes.  As the officer entered our home we heard the pounding sound and the scream again.  As he reached for his gun he asked, “What was that?”  I said, “I don’t know but that is why you are here.”  After a few minutes of orienting him to the layout of our home he said, we need to go check it out!”  I said, “WE?”  I pointed him to the stairs that led to the basement and we opened the door.

The moment we opened the door, the pounding sound and scream happened again and I knew immediately what it was.  It was a screen saver of Barney poking his head up as a chicken throws an egg at him making a pounding sound followed by Barney screaming!  The kids had been playing on the computer in the basement, had turned the volume all the way up, and then gone to bed.  I walked into the house the moment the screen saver turned on.  I tried to tell the officer he didn’t have to go downstairs but he had to see what it was.  After he left I peeked out our window only to find him on the ground laughing with another officer.  Every time I tell the story I laugh.  Every time I tell the story people laugh at me.

I have discovered that every time I laugh I feel better.  There is something cleansing about a belly laugh or even just a chuckle.  Studies actually show that laughter is a healing activity.  It strengthens your immune system, it increases a sense of happiness, it lessens depression, it actually lessens pain, and it boosts your energy.  Every time you laugh your body releases endorphins which create a feeling of well being.  And best of all it doesn’t cost you a thing.   It is a free legal high.  Laughter is just plain good for you.   Sometimes when I am feeling a little down I go to YouTube and type in “Just for Laughs.”  I will watch one or two episodes and I will feel physically and emotionally better.  Try it!

Just being around someone who is laughing makes you feel better.  Do me a favor and click on the following link of a child laughing.  Watch the clip and see if you can stop yourself from laughing.  When you’re done watching the clip stop and think about how you are feeling.  Do you feel different than before you watched the clip?  What is different?  Do you think you need to find more ways to add laughter back to your life?

Did you know that on average, children laugh 400 times a day, while adults laugh about 15 times?  What can we do to lessen the gap?  Today I will share one idea and then share a couple more then next time I write.

Be willing to laugh at yourself!  Lighten up, don’t be so serious.  Even in the more challenging parts of our journey there is something we can laugh at, and normally it’s ourselves!

One day we were visiting my brother and sister in law and David had to go to the bathroom.  David was blind so he didn’t notice that someone was in the bathroom and barged in.  He immediately turned around but came back and said, “Well that was embarrassing, but I guess there are advantages to being blind” and left.  As he did he chuckled to himself and we still chuckle about it today.
If I were a doctor and could prescribe you some medicine it would be: Find something to laugh about yourself and laugh out loud!  Please do this three times a day or as often as is needed to start feeling better.  That’s a doctors order!