I think Whitney Houston, sung it best. “Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.” I love listening to my children laugh. It makes me know that they are safe and feel loved; and that maybe, just maybe, I am not screwing up as much as much as I think I am.
Sometimes, as a mom I can go about my daily life and it’s easy for the challenges I face to pile up and overwhelm me. And, before I realize it, I accumulate more stress in my body than I know how to manage. But, then my husband comes and makes me laugh; usually at myself.
But, it never fails to amaze me how a good laugh can change my mood. I might be feeling blue or my heart may be heavy with burden. But after a hearty laugh, I suddenly feel more buoyant. And, my whole perspective changes and the world once again becomes a more cheerful place.
One of my favorite things to do is watch Just For Laughs. My children made me realize that Laughter is our birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn; I OBSERVE this with my children. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. It is believed that in humans, smiling, combined with other non-threatening gestures is used to signify submission.
“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.”~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
The experience of humor is universal and easily recognized. Millennia ago, the potential benefits of humor, and the harmful effects of negative emotions, were recognized in the biblical proverb, “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed sprit dries up the bones”
Most people think they have to feel good first in order to laugh. But you can start from nothing, you can even start feeling unhappy and just laugh as a form of exercise, and happy feelings follow.
And, humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this “priceless” medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.
Humor is a whole mind-body and social experience; it’s a cognitive ability that gets our emotions and our bodies involved in the act, and it also connects us to other people.
When we admire someone who “doesn’t take himself too seriously,” this is the temperament we’re talking about. More than just a way of relating to other people, it’s a prism that colors the world in rosier shades. Someone with this outlook deploys humor to cope with challenges, taking a step back and laughing at the absurdities of everyday life.
Studies link a sense of humor to good health; when you have a wry perspective, it’s hard to remain anxious or hostile for long.
Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. Children remind us that we don’t need other people to entertain us—if something peculiar or annoying happens, we’re perfectly capable of laughing at it on our own.
Live and Learn. We all Do.
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