Have you laughed at least once today? Have you found one tiny reason to smile?
It’s amazing how even the slightest chuckle will lift our heavy spirit and help us to find new perspective. Laughter relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, knocks the depression monster down to size…and just makes us feel good all ’round!
I have not read any of the reports myself, but I hear that there have been studies to show that people who laugh recover from serious illness more quickly than those who remain somber. I have been told that this includes people with such things as cancer. Hmm, it certainly can’t hurt, right?
I remember a presentation at a continuing ed workshop I attended years ago. A therapist was sharing stories about groups she facilitated for survivors of sexual abuse. One game she had participants play was, “Haha.” She would have them lie on the floor so that each person’s head was resting on someone’s stomach; then she would start with one “ha.” The next person had to add a “ha”, making “haha.” Then the next one added yet another, until the whole group was laughing. Her point was that people who go through trauma often lose the ability to laugh and need to learn how, all over again.
Hope and joy are the keys: When we know that we can expect good things in life; that we are precious and loved completely apart from circumstances, we can laugh.
Steve Backlund, of Global Legacy wrote a book called, “Let’s Just Laugh At That.” He identifies lies that we tend to believe; then, you guessed it, he says to laugh at them: It takes their power away. I think there is truth to this. Lies only have an impact when we give them serious attention; laughing communicates that they simply aren’t that potent.
Sometimes, the hardest things are the ones we need to laugh about most. Perhaps we don’t really laugh at them so much as in spite of them or as a declaration over them. We may only succeed at a hint of a smile at first; yet if we can look to hope and joy, we will be able to lift our heads, put a spring in our step…