Are You Laughing Enough

by Gopi Nair
November 4th 2018

Laughing is an amazing gift from the Heavens!

 

It can reduce human strife at all levels, gives a totally different perspective and helps us cope with daily challenges in life. Laughter is a physical reaction in human beings affecting the diaphragm and other parts of the respiratory system. Laughter can be caused by tickles, funny stories, funny visuals(funny faces), and old fashioned jokes. We all laugh at one time or the other in response to positive stimulations like joy, mirth happiness and relief. A sense of humor is an asset to every human being. It can help reduce tensions when emotions run high, and human beings lose control of themselves and the situation they are in. It is said that world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, and Winston Churchill had great sense of humor. Once Mahatma Gandhi was in London attending the famous Round Table Conference to discuss India's freedom from British Rule, As part of the trip. he had an audience with King George V1 who wanted to make fun of Gandhi who was committed to a very simple way of living wearing enough clothes just to cover . So His Majesty King George V1 said to Gandhi:

 

"Mr.Gandhi, you hardly wear any clothes on you."

 

Mahatma Gandhi in his usual humorous manner replied

 

"Your Majesty! You wear clothes enough for both of us."

 

The old anecdote that laughter is the best medicine is slowly but surely being proved by modern science. Dr.Amit Sood of Mayo Clinic says that laughter provides "a good physical work out, lowers blood pressure and pain". Laughter protects the body by enhancing body's own immune system by releasing healing chemicals like endorphins. Endorphins are body's own pain killers. It also fights the harmful effects of chronic stress that we suffer in modern life due to speed and data.

 

A small doze of laughter every day can erase a ton of misery and sadness from the mind. It is a "pick me up" mechanism, and it can instantly uplift one's mood. No matter how challenging are the day's events, if you mix the day with a few bouts of laughter it can help overcome many of the seemingly difficult challenges that we face in our office and in our personal life. From time immemorial , Orators and comedians have been using humor to enrich their performance by making their audience laugh their head off. Those few humorous moments stick in the heart of people for days to come. Many times by just thinking about those moments, they still can laugh and feel good about it. I read somewhere that " do not take life serious, because it is not permanent". How true it is. We magnify many of our problems as if they are the end of the world, and we simply forget the fact that we may not be even there to face those imagined monsters when they descend on the scene! So it is very healthy to inculcate a sense of humor in your daily life, as it can help you solve many of the problems without overly stressed out . You can carry your own sunshine wherever you go, in the form of a sense of humor. You must remember your sense of humor is widely appreciated and fearlessly laughed at when it is at your expense. It is fun to laugh with others, and see the boundless energy pervading the atmosphere!

 

Man's ability to laugh is a complex human behavior that perplexed Behaviroal Biologists for ages. It is said that laughter is a built in stimuli intimately connected to the evolution of brain itself. It is believed that laughter is a mechanism evolved out of the need for group bonding among human beings, that rose out of the social demands of living in larger groups. Gelotologists think that laughter as we know today, is the outcome of early panting and cackling as practised by Chimpanzies and other animals who are the pre-human species.

 

HOW TO PRACTICE LAUGHTER THERAPY?

 

Practicing Laughter Therapy is a very valuable tool in life. It can jump start your quality of life, and put you on the right track to deal with inter personal relationship. A sense of humor is a business asset for any manager or leader in the corporate world. Any direction mixed with some humor will stick in the head of the people to whom it was directed. Even in family life, humor can promote harmony and peace. A family that laughs together endures hardships and tough times in life, much easier.

 

You can be the target of your own joke, so that you are not offending anybody else. Still you can laugh together with your team mates. Especially this is a good technique if you are a manager or a supervisor. You can quote the sense of humor of world leaders or corporate leaders in your formal weekly meetings.

 

Watch Comedy Films: As a family you can watch comedy films together. Even for married couple this is a good quality time together to rest and relax. It is anti-dote for useless arguments on silly things that do not accomplish anything. A couple that laughs together more often, tends to stay longer together.

 

You can include in your weekly reading some joke books and other publications. You can share these jokes with friends and family members. When you cultivate a sense of humor, you can handle any tough situation either at the office or at home. You can lighten up, otherwise seriously damaging situations.

 

Of course, who says you can not make funny faces to your young children, or grand children if you have? I love to make funny faces, and do funny things in front of my grand children just to make them laugh. In the process my wife and children laugh too. Believe me, when it comes to humor, it transcends age, gender and other barriers. But one must make sure that one is not making fun of the other. The best humors are the ones on yourself, and still you can laugh together with your family and friends. As the American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr said:

 

"humor is a prelude to faith, and laughter is the beginning of prayer."

 

Please consider laughter as an essential part of daily living like sleep, diet and exercise. If you look at children they laugh at lots of things, and they are looking for opportunities to giggle and be funny. But as we become adults most of us tend to be serious with life and work. Even in social gatherings we tend to be more serious, as it is the socially accepted adult behavior. But think of the therapeutic value of a belly laugh, that can shake off the tensions hiding beneath bones and joints in the body. Think of the healing chemicals like endorphins it releases in the brain, that can make you feel good. Laughter is an essential medicine for emotional health and well being. It can super charge your immune system and prevent many of the modern life style diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart ailments. It can promote social bonding as it was intended by the Creator, and put you at ease in any groups as you are the center of attention cracking jokes, and spreading joyous bouts of energy into the gathering. Finding opportunities to laugh is a healthy practice. You are also helping the society by helping others to laugh too. All the SNLs of the world are watched by millions starving for a hearty laugh, and many of them realise the value of humor in preserving good health and mental harmony.

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