LOL……Laughing Hard, or Hardly Laughing?

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[Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. — Mark Twain

How often do see…use…the acronym, lol, when conversing on FB, Twitter, e-mail, blogs, etc?  It essentially means that whatever it is being discussed that person is “laughing out loud” about it. But, are they really laughing out loud? I use it frequently, and I have to admit that however clever it looks I am not really laughing out loud. Sure, I have sometimes, when a comment really strikes me as hilarious and worthy of a good guttural guffaw; but, those are far and few between.

I can’t recall the last time I had a really, really good laugh. You know the kind where you can hardly catch your breath, and the tears roll down your cheeks. I so enjoy a laugh like that. There is an acronym for that too, LMAO. I am embarrassed to tell you how long it took for me to figure that one out! However, it is one of those gut-grabbers that can purge the soul of any doldrums and anxt it may be harboring. I need that right now, so I am on the hunt to dig out my oh-so-missing laugh and let loose with a rollonthefloorgrabbingmygutaldarnnearpeemypantslaugh!!!!! Oh, and there’s an acronym for that: ROTFLMAO.  Acro-Evolution.

At any rate, I realized I have “lost”  my laugh, and I miss it.  And truth be known, I am…was…infamous for having a great laugh. One that couldn’t be missed in a crowd, and it made others laugh along with me.  And I would laugh a lot. What the hell happened?

I recall reading an article some time ago about the benefits of laughter, and how it helps heal the body of a wide range of maladies. We’ve all heard that old saying: “Laughter is the best medicine,” and scientific studies have proven that  notion is not too far off the mark.  I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks now, so it’s one of  the reasons this subject has come to the forefront of my beleaguered brain cells. Therefore, I did a bit of research and I came across a commendable site penned by Elizabeth Scott, M.S. that discussed laughter benefits, and felt it would be worthwhile to share. It is a very good reminder to laugh more as the perks are numerous.

Stress Management Benefits of Laughter:

  • Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol,epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.
  • Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you “have to laugh or I’ll cry”? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.
  • Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.
  • Distraction: Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions in a more beneficial way than other mere distractions.
  • Perspective: Studies show that our response to stressful events can be altered by whether we view something as a ‘threat’ or a ‘challenge’. Humor can give us a more lighthearted perspective and help us view events as ‘challenges’, thereby making them less threatening and more positive.
  • Social Benefits of Laughter: Laughter connects us with others. Just as with smiling and kindness, most people find that laughter is contagious, so if you bring more laughter into your life, you can most likely help others around you to laugh more, and realize these benefits as well. By elevating the mood of those around you, you can reduce their stress levels, and perhaps improve the quality of social interaction you experience with them, reducing your stress level even more!
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron
I was even more surprised to learn there are Laughter Yoga facilities. Nice!
“Laughter and breathing of laughter yoga brings you totally in the present moment, as you can’t laugh and breathe in the past or future.” Dr. Madan Ka

And what would an informative, self-pondering post be without a few more wonderful quotes to drive the point home.

A smile starts on the lips, A grin spreads to the eyes, A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, Overflows, and bubbles all around. – Carolyn Birmingham

An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Nansbury

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die. — Abraham Lincoln

As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul– A Jewish Proverb

I was irrevocably betrothed to laughter, the sound of which has always seemed to me to be the most civilized music in the world. — Peter Ustinov

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. — Victor Hugo

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. — E E Cummings

“I have not seen anyone dying of laughter, but I know millions who are dying because they are not laughing” – Dr. Madan Katari

The old man laughed loud and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket, because it cut down the doctor’s bills like everything. — “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

The person who can bring the spirit of laughter into a room is indeed blessed. — Bennett Cerf

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer. — Reinhold Niebuhr

So, if you will excuse me, I am off on a mission to “recover” my giggles, and LOL in the face of  my ill-conceived woes and ailing body. Cheers. :-)

One last item to leave with you. A song. Classic.


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13 responses »

  1. Nice blog, Cris……Ha Ha Ha HA……no, seriously I mean, it is a good thought! When I played the video I thought “hmmm….what song will she post….Make em Laugh from “Singin in the Rain?” But the one you chose was perfect and yes, it did make me LOL.

    I suspect come March 15, you and I will share many ROTFLMAO…..we always do. I feel that LOL is over used, especially on Facebook and I’m guilty of that. I think we have now become accustomed to using that to soften some things. We often post something to someone and that write “j/k”. Were we? Most likely but it’s our way of making sure the person isn’t offended. Similarly, we’ll write something to someone and end with “LOL” when in fact, what we really meant was “j/k”!

    Is everyone lost now? At any rate, fun blog, good research and quotes, and Im counting the days ’til I see you because we are so guilty, and proudly so, I might add, of uncontrollably LOL!!!

    Love you, Madame Blogger!

    • Hi,
      Glad you liked it,and more than thrilled you commented. WooHoo!
      We will most certainly have a great time ROTFLOAO…as we always do! It’s just been a long, long time since. Can’t wait.

  2. When I could afford yoga, I was often cracking wise while there. My friends and I would giggle so, and the instructor was always happy to see me, but the other students–meh, not so much.

    I try to never use LOL, but I will tell someone they made me laugh. I know I love to make others laugh, so I’m guessing others like making me laugh? Something like that…

    • Elli, How nice for you to visit my post! I am glad you liked it and I can relate to your giggle-fest. I’ve done the same thing….”you want my body to do what?” and the stalwarts are not amused. Guess there is a time and place for levity in certain situations, but I have yet to understand the boundaries. ;-)
      Blessing to you for a great week.

  3. Why thank you kind sir!!! I concur about watching comedy. What a good feeling it is to laugh, laugh, laugh! I am happy it is helping you with your illness.
    I read a story (long ago) about a gentleman who had a very serious illness and the doctors could do little, if anything else, to help. He decided to laugh his way to health by watching hours of comedy shows, and taking lots of health promoting supplements. To his delight, and the doctors amazement, he eventually recovered. Nothing to lose, and everything to gain…..
    BTW, the last really good laugh I recall…..the night you boys were watching The Shining and K walked in on “G’ma Fester”….we had many laughs, but dang, that was classic!!!

  4. Loved the post Cris!

    Laughter indeed IS the best medicine and its a proven fact that it does keep many illnesses at bay!

    I can well understand how we struggle to keep a simple smile on our faces, let along the real free laugh (the one where the tears roll down our cheek and gets our faces all red!). It’s hard for me to remember the last time I too really had a good laugh! But yes, whenever it does happen, you can feel the blood rushing all over your body and you do feel rejuvenated all of a sudden. You come alive as they call it.

    Loved the quotes and the video as well- guess they always do add so much more meaning to a post.

    Thanks for sharing, and yes, we all do need to make that deliberate and sincere effort to take life a little lightly at times, and enjoy the moment by being in the present by laughing away our worries :)

    • Greetings, Harleena…
      I am thrilled you read my post and offered your insight to the subject.
      I am hoping with this post that it will bring to the forefront that laughter is an essential part of our being, and why we don’t make a concerted effort to do more of it….
      Let’s make that change, especially with all the negativity, and dismal news that bombards us daily we need to bolster ourselves with a good healthy laugh!!
      So, here’s to a daily dose of chuckles and guffaws!!!!
      Blessings to you.

  5. Cris, aloha. So sorry you have been sick and that you have lost your laugh. Hopefully, you will soon be well and that your laugh will return–especially since you have such a great one. It is always such a pleasure to hear someone who has a contagious laugh.

    Interestingly enough, I rarely, if ever, use lol because that is not what I do. Instead, I find myself smiling or nodding my head. Since I am not lol, I find myself unable to put it there even though I know most people don’t take it literally.

    Absolutely loved all your laugh quotes.

    Speaking of quotes, though this one has nothing to do with laughing, it always makes me feel good so I want to share it in the hopes it does the same for you.

    “How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar” ~ Michael Motley

    Give up why you have not been laughing and find your laugh once again, Cris. Wishing you a successful hunt. Until next time, aloha. Janet

  6. Laughter does as much good to your body as stress does bad. I read a long time ago that when we laugh there is some kind of beneficial substance (can’t remember the name) that is released in the body and that is really good for you.

    When I was younger I used to laugh often and a whole lot. I can’t say that this time in my life is the most “laughing time”, but I will laugh again, I’m sure :)

    • Greetings, Sylviane..
      Happy to hear from you!
      Yes, indeed, there is a great deal of research about the benefits of laughter, and the detrimental effects of stress on our health. The chemical that is released is called dopamine, that has a “”tranquilizing” effect on our body with laughter. It is why we feel so good when we laugh.
      Sorry that you are not laughing as much as you would like. Sometimes life’s struggles can put a damper on things, and our sense of humor and joviality seem to diminish rapidly, when we need it the most. When I find myself in this situation, I watch “I Love Lucy” shows. Find/watch something that made you laugh before. What have you got to lose? You will find your laugh again, and enjoy it all the more. :-)

      Blessings to you.

  7. Thanks, Janet, I am feeling better. I am a teacher, and catching the “bugs” that migrate into the classrooms are difficult to sidestep. Some days I wish I had a big plastic protective bubble to roll around in…like a hamster. ;-)….or laugh, laugh, laugh, and heal thyself!
    Those are great laugh quotes, and glad you liked them. I found so many that it was a bit difficult to choose… and not post more.
    Really appreciated the butterfly quote. How true is that!!!! If we don’t let go, then we can never soar.

    Blessings to you!

  8. Pingback: Blog Pool Drain and I’m Praying for Rain. « Whimsical Wisdoms

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