"It’s true that laughter really is cheap medicine. It’s a prescription anyone can afford. And best of all, you can fill it right now."
- Steve Goodier
I was in a conference call yesterday for over two hours. Some of you might think that is insane or torture or absurd, but with this particular group of women, we laughed a lot! And, we were working!!! It was the best therapy I had all week.
"As Isabel acted out her date, both of them laughing, I stayed in the kitchen, out of sight, and pretended she was telling me, too. And that, for once, I was part of this hidden language of laughter and silliness and girls that was, somehow, friendship."
I’ve always wanted to create a workshop on the benefits of laughter (and one on crying, too!?!) so allow me to start my research with y’all!
Foreword: I LOVE quotes ... I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. May you be inspired, uplifted, comforted, and perhaps even have a few “aha” moments.
"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."
- Robert Frost
"There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt."
- Erma Bombeck
"If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh."
- W. H. Auden
"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
- Anne Lamott
"Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either."
- Golda Meir
So, it seems my idea of a laughing/crying workshop is on par. Yay!! It does make me wonder if there is a hormonal connection between laughter and tears. They are so closely related. Perhaps some of the same hormones are released?? Let’s explore this potential connection a little deeper.
(Laughter) It has been shown to lead to reductions in stress hormones such as
. When laughing the brain also releases
that can relieve some physical pain. Laughter also boosts the number of
and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system.
Laughter does so many great things for us mind, body, and spirit!!
what happens when you cry
, exactly? A salty fluid chock full of protein,
, mucus and oil is released from the lacrimal gland in the upper, outer region of your
. This fluid, better known as tears, then flows down the surface of your eye, across your face and smears your mascara.
This article is chock full of information on the three different types of tears;
Basal, Reflex, and Emotional
. As this article goes on to share, the hormones are different, but there is a deeper connection. We are not going to be able to unravel all of that in a newsletter article, and maybe not even a 3-hour workshop, but I see potential!!
"My body needs laughter as much as it needs tears. Both are cleansers of stress."
- Mahogany SilverRain
Here is an “aha” for me ... laughing and crying are self-care techniques! This is SO freeing to me.
"It is cheerful to God when you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart."
- Martin Luther King Jr.
I love it, love it, love it!
"There's nothing more contagious than the laughter of young children; it doesn't even have to matter what they're laughing about."
I love hearing children laugh. Their gut-wrenching laughter floats directly into my gut. And, I can’t help but laugh along with them!
"Because when you’re laughing, there is no other emotion in that moment except for joy."
"It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour."
"Worry is the secret weapon perpetrated upon us by the dark forces of the world that lurk in the shape of fear, uncertainty, confusion, and loss.
We, on the other hand, have our own secret weapon against these incorporeal fiends.
It is laughter."
- Vera Nazarian
Elder's Meditation of the Day - February 18
"laughter is a necessity in life that does not cost much, and the Old Ones say that one of the greatest healing powers in our life is the ability to laugh."
-Larry P. Aitken, CHIPPEWA
"Laughter is a good stress eliminator. Laughter causes healing powers to be distributed through our bodies. Laughter helps heal relationships that are having problems. Laughter can change other people. Laughter can heal the sick. Laughter is spiritual. One of the greatest gifts among Indian people has been our ability to laugh. Humor is natural to Indian people. Sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.
Great Spirit, allow me to laugh when times get tough."
"A man who can laugh at himself is truly blessed, for he will never lack for amusement."
- James Carlos Blake
"Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity."
- Chuck Swindoll
Human connection ...
"Laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity...When people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more and to make eye contact more frequently."
"He had never heard anything quite as amazing as that voice. She talked as if she was continuously on the verge of breaking into giggles. And when she giggled she sounded the way Ove imagined champagne bubbles would have sounded if they were capable of laughter."
(Y’all, this is seriously one of the best novels I’ve ever read!!! I can’t recommend it enough!)
And now back to the beginning! I was blessed by the ladies I was able to laugh with ... and they didn’t even know it until they read this article (Thank you, thank you Cathey and Catherine!)
"Humor can make a serious difference. In the workplace, at home, in all areas of life – looking for a reason to laugh is necessary. A sense of humor helps us to get through the dull times, cope with the difficult times, enjoy the good times and manage the scary times."
- Steve Goodier
Oh to bring laughter into every aspect of our lives and have safe places to share our tears without judgement. This is resilience. This is grace. This is human connection.
Let me leave you with one last quote. This one by the beloved researcher Brene Brown:
"The truth is, rarely can a response
make something better — what makes something better is connection.
often requires mutual vulnerability. ... Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable."
To FEEL (to laugh, to cry) is to be vulnerable. Here’s to vulnerability!