IMG_4028Most mornings I remember to do my laughter practice…As I am making the bed, or heading in to brush my teeth, I start to giggle, then chuckle, then do a couple of belly laughs.  It might sound pretty  odd.  There is often no real reason to be laughing, but I have no trouble calling up the chortling.  I learned some years ago how we really don’t need a reason to laugh, and just laughing is soooo good!

OK, sometimes I do recall a triad of cartoons we’ve come across — I have to laugh right now as I think of them.  They are semi-spiritual, about the mystery and meaning of life, that sort of thing.  The first is of two monks sitting side by side.  The old one says to the younger one, “Nothing happens next, this is it.”  The look on the younger monk’s face is consternated.  Well, actually you can have a look for yourself.

danny-shanahan-yo-greg-hey-warren-new-yorker-cartoonSome spiritual teachings say that we are both the wave and the ocean, that we exist as particular individuals, but we not separate from, the ocean of all that is.  Check out this cartoon where two waves rise up out of the ocean.  One wave calls out, and the other responds.  I just double up when I think of that :-).

The third one I also find a complete hoot, and I can’t find an image, so you’ll have to use your imagination!  Picture a cemetery with several scattered tombstones.  The one in front has the inscription, “That was weird.”  For me it is a wonderful commentary on the Great Mystery, which includes black holes, quantum physics, love, birth, kisses, death, babies, tar sands, kindness… you get the picture!  If that doesn’t make you laugh, that’s OK.  I think I’m weird, and I like a certain kind of weird 🙂  We each have our own sense of humor. But laughing is good for all of us!


But back to laughter for its own sake.  It’s amazing but true, that whether you’re laughing because something strikes you funny, or a laughing for no reason at all, the benefits are identical.  I expect you know, but here’s a reminder of the numerous, significant, scientifically established benefits of laughter. Check out this, and this (Mayo Clinic), and this, any maybe this!   There is even something called “Laughter Yoga.”  Sweeping the world they say.  There may be a group near you!

Laughter is called “the best medicine,” but it’s really a great way to stay healthy!

imagesWhat are your favorite benefits?  I love the lightness, the shift in perspective, the physicality of it, the way I feel connected… not to mention that it’s helping to keep my blood pressure low, reducing stress hormones, boosting my immune system, working my abs… it’s free, and I feel like a free spirit!  I love the way it invites me to lighten up, not to take myself so seriously, changes the perspective on the day.

images-3Finally, in case you’d like to laugh right now, you can watch these babies!  I remember laughing so hard with my son when he was about two, that we were both crying with the pleasure and fun of it!

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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