“Laughter is the language of the soul.”
— Pablo Neruda
Sometimes we take ourselves and our lives entirely too seriously. Being serious about things doesn’t have any particular value. It doesn’t guarantee a problem will be resolved or a hurt undone. Being serious won’t fix a broken relationship or solve a crisis.
Laughter on the other hand, has some seriously (see what I did there) well researched benefits.
Good Reasons to Giggle:
1 – Laughter is a physical release that shakes tension loose and leaves us feeling cleaner, lighter and dare I say - happier. For an extra side bonus, a good belly laugh counts as an abdominal exercise!
2 – Laughter is a positive distraction - it refocuses our attention from heavier thoughts and feelings and recharges our feeling batteries. It can even help to reduce our perception of pain.
3- Laughter alters the way we see stressful events, allowing us to re-frame unmanageable problems into do-able challenges. Laughter creates a lighthearted perspective and helps to keep our hearts and minds open.
4- Laughter brings us back into balance, particularly when we're super focused on all the things that aren't working in our life and relationships.
5- Laughter boosts our immune system. No antibiotics required. How great is that!
6- Laughter acts as a “safety valve” to release nervous energy. Research suggests a giggle can help regulate cortisol, adrenaline and growth hormone, making us feel less stressed.
As far as family problems and estrangement goes, laughter may truly be one of our best allies. It's not difficult to make time to laugh. It doesn't have to cost a thing. You can do it by yourself, anytime, anywhere, and you can also share with a friend. Watch a few comedies. Spend time with children and play. Get creative, make a mess doing something fun. Swing on a swing, slide on a slide. Buy a balloon. Schedule time in your day for joy, for a laugh.
You can be your own n=1 experiment. Incorporate some laughter into your day, everyday, and keep track of how it makes you feel. If laughter doesn't make you feel better, hey, you can always go back to being full-time serious!