Healing Laughter

be less stressed Jul 09, 2022


Healing Laughter 

July 10, 2022  

I have been taking a few vacation days here and there for the last couple of weeks. I sincerely hope you have made an opportunity to fit in a vacation or are looking forward to some time off soon, before the summer is over.

If we embrace the wisdom of the famous comedian, Milton Berle, "Laughter is an instant vacation," we can change our mindset and believe that we can take a vacation any time, any day, any where!  

So let's have some fun -- and laugh together, right now. Let's laugh at this crazy world. Let's laugh at ourselves.  

Laughter is healing on many levels -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are a few examples of the healing power of laughter -- and a few more inspirational quotes.   

Laughter wakes up our mind-body. "Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors," say Norman Cousins. Laughter wakes up our eyes, lights up our face, and can make us raise our arms in joy and dance. A belly laugh shakes everything up!

Laughter is an instant emotional release. As Kevin Hart says, "Laughter heals all wounds, and that's one thing that  everyone shares. No matter what you are going through, it makes you forget about your problems. I think the world should keep laughing." There is great positive energy in laughter. When you laugh, really laugh, you release negative energy -- and create positive energy. You know, good, good vibrations … as the song goes. 

Laughter is effective for stress reduction. Indeed, "Laughter is one of the best medicines around for relieving stress and for creating a more healthy spirit. And, one of the greatest aspects is that it is totally free and can be done by anyone," observes Byron Pulsifer. When we laugh -- we are breathing deeply. When we laugh we are triggering the Relaxation Response to get us out of  Flight, Fight, or Freeze. It is the very first step in all stress reduction plans to hit the pause button and move from React to Respond -- and our autonomic nervous system automatically does it for us!   

Laughter is a great connecter. "Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection," a quote by Jacob Smirnoff. Isn't it true that we feel closer to someone and more connected when we share a good laugh? 

Laughter brings us into the Present Moment. As Stephen King writes, "You can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants." When we laugh, we are not in the past and judging ourselves. When we laugh, we are not worrying about the future. When we laugh, we are in the present moment, pure and simple. 

Laughter is good for the soul. Listen to the poetry of Hafiz: "O what is laughter, Hafiz? What is this precious love and laughter budding in out hearts? It is the glorious sound of a soul waking up!" One of my favorite books, is "I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy," renderings of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky. And, laughing at ourselves is a good way to find both humility and love, in my opinion. 

Let’s have some fun and laugh together!

It is a popular misconception that meditation has to be a serious undertaking, with many rules. I am inviting you to a party – a Laughter Meditation on a beach. Please watch this video for at least 60 seconds and join the party! If the spirit calls, join the fun and laugh for the full 5 minutes. 

The first time I participated in a laughter meditation, I was very self-conscious and cautious. Most people, new to the practice, were self-conscious. How often do we see people laugh for no reason other than just to feel good and laugh?  Perhaps, the last time you watched children at play, right? When the Laughter Meditation party started, after a short warm up and instruction, we let down our shields of armor and tapped into our Inner Child -- and we laughed until we doubled over and shook! 

Here we go.... !!!

How do you feel now? Are you present in this moment? Have you released some emotional baggage? Are you feeling lighter? Did you connect with your inner child? Did you have fun?

I sure did!

Do you feel like you need permission to laugh? Are you concerned if you bring amusement and laughter to your conversations at the office, in tense situations, negotiations, in coaching - people will think you are crazy? Well, maybe I am a little crazy -- and I am okay with that.  

Robin Sharma, one of the top leadership and mastery experts in the world, sums up the benefits of daily laughter very well:  

"Daily laughter has been shown to elevate our moods,
promote creativity and
give us more energy.”  

Notice the word, 'Daily.' 

In closing, I will add two personal notes: 

  • Sarcasm is NOT humor. I lived in the NYC area growing up and believe I earned a Ph.D. in sarcasm there!  However, in my coaching practice I have come to observe that sarcasm is not humor because there is typically someone on the receiving end who is left wondering, "Was I the butt of the 'joke'"? In my personal opinion, sarcasm does not bring the benefits of laughter. 

  • In every coaching meeting, I always look for the opportunity to interject laughter. I believe we all learn better when we are having fun and when we laugh. I also believe that when we learn to laugh at ourselves -- we start to learn not to judge ourselves. Rather we laugh and learn to reflect on the lesson we learned. When we learn to laugh at ourselves, in a nonjudgmental way, which means we accept ourselves, just as we are, then we are open to learning and changing and growing. 

 Till next time, 

May you laugh often and be happy now,  Alison 



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