It’s no secret that laughter is good for us, lowering our blood pressure, reducing stress, and firing up our immune systems. Which would be reason enough to do it, quite apart from the fact that very little beats a really good laugh.
I’m not talking about wry smiles or smug titters: the kind of response we feel to a lot of the cynical humour we see on screen these days.
No. I mean that helpless kind of laughter that comes from somewhere deep inside and has us at its mercy, even though our eyes may be streaming with laughter tears and the sound we’re making is completely embarrassing.
Think back for a moment. When was the last time you laughed so much and so unexpectedly that your muscles went weak and you couldn’t speak? You really let go and to hell with how you looked?
According to scientists, we laugh on average 17 times a day, but I suspect they must be counting chuckles. For a really good belly laugh workout seems to me as rare as a newscast reporting good news.
Those same scientists claim that as children we laugh on average 400 times a day, which is, ironically, a rather sobering thought. It’s not that life isn’t serious sometimes, and there’s certainly plenty going on to make us weep. But the truth is that letting laughter into our souls makes us so much better able to deal with life’s challenges. And perhaps take ourselves a whole lot less seriously too.
The best thing about laughter is, of course, that it is hopelessly contagious. Hearing or seeing someone else get the giggles sets us off. So today, let’s hear it for the kids in this wonderful video shared by my good friend Lizzie.
Lighten up and let yourself go. You’ll feel better for it.