Despite the often serious tone of my writing, I am someone who loves to laugh. I am actually quite silly, and irreverent, off the page. And I love that; it’s me. I recently went out to a comedy club to see a relative — a well-known comic, actually — perform. What a blast!
The great thing that unabashed laughter teaches us…is not to take ourselves, and life, so seriously. If you’ve ever been to a live comedy show, you know what to expect: inappropriateness, crude statements, poking fun at all walks of life…and if you happen to be the one standing up to go use the restroom…you will be called out. No, it wasn’t me. Not this time.
This comic laid it all out there: he cursed, he offended all sorts of people, my cheeks still ache from laughing. I had a great time. It was freeing. There is great power in letting go and giving into the need for a bit of silliness, without judgment.
Here are some reasons why losing ourselves in laughter is so good for us:
1. Laughter is Humbling — To fully lose yourself in laughter, you must leave your ego at the door. You must be open to humor however it is presented. Isn’t life like this? People? Relationships? If I walked into that room expecting a certain behavior or style, to suit my preferences, I would be disappointed. Instead, I was open, with no idea what to expect. I only knew that I wanted to laugh and enjoy myself. And boy did I!
2. Laughter Releases Tension — A good belly laugh can be just what we need, sometimes. It’s a release. A reminder to let go and get over ourselves. It’s a healthy dose of perspective. And releasing that tension can help the body, physically, as well. Laughing can help our muscles relax, easing discomfort.
3. Laughter Inspires Us — What a gift it is, to give laughter to others. It takes so much courage to be that unfiltered; that raw. Some people curse. Some people color outside the lines. Some people make up their own rules. Some people self-deprecate. But their intentions are to make us smile. To give us joy. I find that very inspiring.
4. Laughter Connects Us — Sharing a good laugh with others is one of the most beautiful things to experience in life. The act of opening up our hearts enough to lose control and laugh hard can form an intimate bond. A laugh is love.
5. Laughter Is Healing — Laughter decreases our stress hormones and boosts our immune systems. It fortifies us; the effects of shared laughter give us mental strength. And a good laugh can be a salve for the soul, as we disconnect from the analytical mind, and just let the laugh out.
6. Laughter Gets Us Out of Our Heads — The surrender to a good laugh, that smack in the face with something we don’t think we should laugh about, but somewhere inside we want to…it’s liberating. Laughing keeps us present and in the moment. Responding with a gut laugh to something funny stops our thinking, overthinking, and overanalyzing ourselves and this thing called life. A good laugh gets us out of our heads and back with our hearts.
Laugh yourself silly, and often. It’s so good for you.