Laugh Until You Cry
I believe laughter really is the best medicine. I’m not talking about all laughing. I’m not talking about the laughter that makes people insecure, the kind that puts people down, the kind that destroys some childhoods and scars people for life. No, not the laughter that results from making fun of someone or causing pain. That laughter comes from hostility and anger.
I’m talking about laughter that is sincere and good. The kind that makes your stomach hurt and makes you cry. The kind that has all sorts of benefits. When we laugh it triggers a domino of positive perks. When you laugh, your body produces more natural killer cells (which destroy tumors and viruses), Gamma- interferon which is a disease-fighting protein, T-cells which are important for the immune system, B-cells which produce disease
fighting antibodies. It also lowers blood pressure, burns calories, and increases the amount of oxygen in the body which encourages healing.
But laughter doesn’t just have physical benefits. It also has emotional benefits. When I’m sad, what do my friends try to do? They try and make me laugh. Despite myself I feel my lips part, a grin emerges, and the pain is
gone. Laughing is an instant relaxer, stress reducer, and a mood enhancer. When I laugh I feel good. The world’s problems or my problems, just disappear. All I know is that I’m happy. I have a feeling that can’t be topped- and no one will take that feeling away.
We know there are physical and mental benefits from laughter but what about social benefits? Have you ever been in a tense situation, to the point it’s uncomfortable? Be it in a play, movie, or real life, the typical
human cannot stand to be serious for so long. At an intense point of time the miracle of comic relief can break the ice. Whether it’s a statement, a joke, or even an accidental action, the humor eases the situation to a point where you can talk about hard, uncomfortable issues. A big, hardy, roaring
laughter from a room can do a lot. On the Daley Show, John Daley talks about serious, national and political issues, but with a twist. He laughs at them! He makes his point armed with the weapon of humor.
I could sit here and list more reasons on why I believe laughing is one of the best things you could do, but really it comes down to this: Whether you are sad, in a tense situation, or just feeling alone. Go ahead, laugh. Laugh so everyone can hear, laugh until people look at you like you’re crazy. That’s when you know you’re doing it right. Laughing will connect you to others, improve your health, and just help you put things in perspective so you will learn to not take yourself and certain situations too seriously. I know I live by the idea to laugh until I cry, because I really believe laughter is the best medicine.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.