I got another great link for a YouTube video in an email the other day. Actually, it was one I had seen before, but it was well worth re-visiting.  My head hurt from laughing at this video. It made my day.  The content? A darling little baby — not even a year old — who laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

What tickled me was not just the laughing baby, but the daddy behind the camera who was having a marvelous time. His own laughter made me smile inside, knowing [as a parent, myself] the delight of having one of my children genuinely moved to that great ‘har har’ kind of laughter.  It was beautiful.

Oh to laugh!  It does a body, a mind, and soul, a great deal of good.

I have addressed the topic of laughter before. I suppose it is one that could be revisited very often, and each time I would enjoy thinking about it and finding more to write about. Perhaps it is because, as much as I like to smile, to have that smile burst wide open into a hearty laugh is even better. At the ugliest or most difficult of moments, a laugh can shift things in a beautifully positive way for me.

Here are a few good reasons to laugh:

  1. Laughter can allow us to forget . If only for a moment, the sadness or difficulties or anger subside when we grab a moment to enjoy a good chuckle. Almost despite ourselves, we can get caught up in a bit of sunshine that dispels- if ever so briefly- the clouds of doom and gloom. How can that not be a good thing?  To forget our troubles by indulging in a happy moment of unrestrained laughter is a gift of goodness.

It seems impossible to be angry and to laugh at the same time. I vote to go with the laughter and forget about the anger!

  1. Laughter is a great thing to share. Just today I was looking over an email that made me laugh. Out loud. Even though I was alone in the office. When one of the kids came inside, I asked him to come see an email. It was fun, all over again, for me to watch his face as he read the word s I had read. I got double my enjoyment. There is no doubt that he and I will laugh together about this email from time to time. It took only a moment of my time to invite him to read. It took only a couple of minutes of his time to read. And we have a lifetime to enjoy the sharing of the joke. A good little joke is even funnier when we share it!

  1. Laughter offers a release valve to someone stressed. The best thing about this relief valve is that it is harmless. If someone we know is maxed out in a stressful situation, we have a simple way of offering loving service — find a way to make them laugh.  Even though pop culture offers any number of ways to de-stress, we would probably agree that some of those methods leave something to be desire. A few of those de-stressors may even bring additional problems to the person having difficulties. But a harmless laugh? It can chase away anxiety.  We become the bearer of a gift as we help a friend or family member unravel a bit of tension in a positive, risk-free way.  I enjoy the quote I came across some time ago which is attributed to Arnold Glasgow, “Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.”

  1. Laughter allows us an inexpensive vacation. The comedian Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation!”  If our pocketbooks are empty, and traveling is out of the question, then we can take a quick jaunt out of the humdrum circumstances in which we may feel we are dwelling. The good whole-hearted chuckle or guffaw allows us to distance ourselves from our present station and we are transported to a happier, sunnier, more enjoyable “location” within ourselves. Without costing a thing, we can return from our little jaunt with more optimism and energy.

We are blessed if we can keep our chins and spirits up in ways that are good and decent and helpful. Oh to laugh!  It is truly good medicine!