“Don’t you dare laugh!”
My husband used to say this to our sons when they were pouting or crying over something. It never failed to bring a smile to their faces. Within moments, they were laughing.
Laughter heals. It’s a proven fact. When’s the last time you really laughed? Laughed till you cried? It feels really, really good. And a night out with friends who can bring on that kind of laughter is strengthening. A vital element in the healing process.
What if you don’t have friends like those?
- Watch a funny movie or television show.
- Find a comedian you enjoy. (There are videos on YouTube featuring your favorite comedian/comedienne.)
- Spend time with a favorite pet.
- Hang out with kids.
- Visit a library’s (or bookstore’s) humor section.
- Go bowling with friends (Miniature golf, swimming, etc.)
I don’t have pets, but I love to watch those funny videos on Facebook. Facebook provides lots of opportunities for laughter as well.
Laughter is infectious. Laughter triggers positive health changes in your body, like strengthening your immunity, releasing stress, boosting energy. Who doesn’t want that? Remember endorphins? Naturally produced chemicals that make you feel great–yes, I could use a healthy dose of those.
Learn to laugh at yourself. Lighten up! Let go and enjoy yourself. You can totally turn a situation around if you’re willing to laugh when you do something dumb. So you made a mistake. Is it worth getting upset over? Losing your cool, stressing out? I’ve chuckled over my stupidity many times.
I had a favorite aunt who had that down to a science. She was one of the happiest women I’ve known, though she’d seen plenty of trouble in her life. I think of her when things happen. How would Aunt Jen handle this? She’d laugh and make up some funny saying about it. She’d tell the story of what she’d done and make others laugh. One thing she never had a shortage of–friends.
Sometimes you have to purposefully inject humor into your life. Set aside time to watch a funny video or movie. Call a friend who always makes you laugh. If it’s difficult for you, start small. Install a humorous screensaver on your computer and/or phone.
Remember to smile, because smiling is also contagious. Yes, others may wonder if you’re nuts, but they’ll probably still smile back.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 NIV