How it works
Laughter really is good medicine and a terrific remedy to have in our tool kit! Laughter helps us feel better, mind, body and spirit! Laughter can help strengthen our immune system, boost mood by releasing endorphins into the system, diminish pain, and protect us from the damaging effects of stress. The great thing - laughter doesn't have to be spontaneous to be beneficial. There are Laughing Clubs all over the world where people get together to intentionally laugh. Just smiling changes things! Think of something funny and notice a simple shift in well being. It can be that simple, and sometimes, caring for ourselves in such a simple way, is just what we need.
I had a lot of oy vey in my life. Many of us do. There just wasn't much bringing a smile to my face. One day I did a news story about Laughing Clubs popping up all over the world. People weren't waiting for something to be funny, they were laughing and then things were getting funny. It sounded absurd, but when I heard about a Laughing Club starting in my home town, I went. As a New York cynic I was mortified; outward displays of joy are generally frowned up. But by the end of the first session, I was won over. I hadn't belly laughed in a long time and the exercises got me going. If you can find a Laughing Club, great, otherwise just smile. Right now, just smile. Apparently it takes less effort to smile than to frown, so that's something, lol. Or watch a funny movie, hang out with a kid, laugh at yourself...gently of course. The more you laugh, the more you'll laugh!
*In 2013, the night before one of my surgeries for cancer, my anxiety was rising and my go to tools for self care were not helping. I was, as you might imagine, on edge. I needed a reset and I needed it to work fast. I put out a call on FB for any joke, story or meme to help me laugh and spent the next hours being genuinely amused. It took the edge off in just the perfect way. Knowing I wasn't the only one on edge, I created Ha Ha's For Healing, a very simple repository to donate jokes for anyone in need. A leave one if you have one, take one if you need, kind'ove thing. https://www.facebook.com/hahasforhealing/