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home : opinion : opinion November 24, 2017

8/18/2017 12:32:00 AM
Laugh Your Way To Happiness

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

Almost everybody likes to be happy.  Not everybody, but almost.  The folks who never smile and look like they’re always sucking on lemons – you know who I’m talking about – those are the ones I try to stay away from. 

But, seriously, people like to be happy – and one of the easiest ways to be happy is to laugh. 

My mom gave me some advice about laughter, years ago.  It’s paid off many times over.   She said, “Nobody likes to hang out with somebody who’s depressed all the time.  So, if nobody wants to hang out with you, then maybe trying laughing more.  You’ll at least get somebody’s attention, just because they’ll be curious about what you’re laughing at.  That will make them want to talk to you.  And, when they do talk to you…smile…it will make them want to hang around longer.”

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So, I tried it.  It worked.  Then, at some point, I remembered that laughing was a lot more fun that being upset and angry.

Lots of research has been done on the benefits of laughter.  But, even without a bunch of research or documentation, common sense tells us that laughing makes us feel better than being upset does.

Am I saying to ignore your problems forever?  No.  Just take a break from them.  When you laugh, something unseen and amazing happens in your mind.  Answers you were searching for will sometimes “magically” go CLICK and suddenly show up.  It’s sort of like by relaxing your body and changing your focus, your mind is able to release the solution from the grip that was holding it back.  While we may not fully understand how the laughter mechanism works, we still know that it does.

Your mind is an incredible storehouse of questions, ideas, and solutions.  If you let stress narrow the conduit that allows information to flow back and forth, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.  When you get rid of that stress by laughing, all sorts of tremendous things can happen. 

Here are some things to consider.  Laughter…

  • increases the production of serotonin, a natural anti-depressant
  • boosts your immune system
  • reduces stress
  • helps your heart
  • increases your confidence
  • warms and restores relationships
  • counteract negative moods
  • relieves pain

Pretty cool, huh?

When I was a kid, my parents had a regular subscription to Reader’s Digest.  One of the sections I always read (sometimes multiple times) was “Laughter, the Best Medicine”.  It was great!   A few jokes from there could lift the tenor of a room, any day. 

If you need something to laugh about (laughter seed?), just think about something dumb you’ve done…or something dumb that somebody else has done.  

Also, my mom also used to tell me, “Unfortunately, Marty, ugly strikes one in three of us.”

“What do you mean?”

“The next time you’re sitting in a group of people, look around.  If the guy on your right is handsome and the girl on the left is beautiful, well…then…” 

I just looked at her, shook my head, and said, “Not funny!”  Then, I started cracking up.

…I still laugh about that, today. 

So, you can get laughter seeds from just about anywhere: strangers, friends, family, mirror, coworkers, stories, and ideas.

Laugh some, today.  It’s a good way to happiness!

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