Healthy Laughter

I recently read about Laughter Yoga.  It’s a movement that was begun in India in 1995 and has spread worldwide since then.  Studies have shown that it has great health benefits.  According to the Mayo Clinic it stimulates our vital organs by increasing our intake of oxygen. It relieves stress by stimulating circulation and muscle relaxation.  Physicians even claim it will improve our immune system, relieve pain, and definitely improve your mood.  But enough of the science.

I’ve always known how wonderful it feels to laugh uncontrollably.  Children instinctively know how good it feels and they laugh easily, so long as they aren’t in danger or abused.  But at some point (perhaps it’s puberty) it becomes un-cool to laugh.  I know from my own teen years on I found little to laugh about.  Life was serious business and then I had kids of my own.  Their childish antics occasionally got me to laugh out loud.  But it really wasn’t until mid-life when I met my husband, Mark, that I loosened up enough to laugh with abandon.  His wonderful sense of humor causes laughter everywhere he goes.  It’s a gift he has that enriches everyone who knows him.  I am so thankful that both my kids and grandsons share and appreciate laughter.  As a family now, we laugh all the time, in spite of the serious problems of the world that we face.  Those are the memories I cherish most in my life.  I can be driving down a congested highway and suddenly think about “soggy, burnt toast” and just crack up! (That’s an inside joke with my grandson Tyler)

So my advice to everyone is to lighten up, laugh and spread some joy.  The world can be seen through a lens of humor or despair.  The choice is ours.  We only live once and I, for one, hope to go out with a smile, not a frown.