This week my yoga instructor talked about the importance of laughter in our lives.
The Mayo Clinic says laughter can produce short term benefits like stimulating organs and it helps to increase endorphins. Long term benefits include an improved immune system, pain relief and improved overall mood.
UC Irvine Health says:
“Laughter and good humor have such all-around benefits that it wouldn’t be surprising to see them on the prescription pad as recommendations for your overall health. Some researchers even suggest that doctors ask patients about their “laugh history” because humor is so important in maintaining a high quality of life. Interestingly, studies have shown that the benefits of laughter are the same in different countries and cultures, even though what’s thought of as funny might be different.”
Here is a scary fact. According to my dear friend and fellow jumping enthusiast Dean Shareski,
the average 4 year-old laughs 300 times a day, while the average 40 year old laughs 4 times a day.
When I was young, LOL meant “Lots of Love”. I signed all my hand written notes to my friends (and love letters to my boyfriend Joey McIntyre from NKOTB) with “S.W.A.K.” (Sealed With A Kiss) and “LOL”.
When I was in college, I remember instant messaging (a new phenomenon) with my cousin. He kept saying funny things that were going on in his life, followed by “LOL”. After a few LOL’s I started feeling a little awkward. I mean, I love my cousin, but seriously, we’re cousins. Love you too, buddy! I finally asked him what LOL meant to him. “Laugh out Loud!” he replied.
LOLOLOLO. ROTFL. LQTM(Laughing Quietly To Myself- this one I used with some colleagues at SMART when were were in “serious” meetings and couldn’t LOL. You know who you are. I miss you guys!)
I love to laugh, and I love to make people laugh. I like to think I laugh much more than 4 times a day.
So- the rest of this post contains personal stories which will hopefully make you laugh.
When I was 4 or 5 years old, my dog Bandit had a marker hanging out of his mouth. The way he was holding it and walking around, it looked as though he was smoking a cigar. I laughed SO hard I peed myself. Luckily I was outside in our backyard, so I waddled back inside and changed my pants. Wetting myself was worth it, the dog seriously looked so funny. I can still picture him clear as day 30 years later.
This picture of my sweet baby K was taken this past week. Ladies- fair warning- this is evidence of what can happen when you leave your husband in charge of entertaining the kids. Michael and Owen were laughing and yelling “Look at his boobies!” Of course after we all had a good laugh, we did have a serious talk about “private parts” and how we didn’t need them going to school telling their friends about their brother’s boobies.
This picture is a “goal” chart that my 6 year old made to track the money he is saving to buy a $100 Lego set he saw at Target a few months ago. When he told me he wanted the Lego set, I explained to him that $100 is a lot of money and that he would need to save some to buy it. I pulled up an image of a fundraising goal chart so he could draw his own. I walked away and fed the baby and came back to find this little gem. You bet your bottom dollar this is going to be laminated and given to him on his 18th birthday. Clearly he’s pretty excited about these Legos. I had it proudly displayed on our fridge for a while. As you can imagine, it was a real conversation starter when guests came over.
He also made this self portrait (below) AT SCHOOL when he was 3 1/2 years old. I about wet myself when I saw it. Clearly he’s a very confident little boy. Again, as any mother would do, I proudly displayed this on the fridge for several months. This one will also be laminated and given to him when he’s 18. If he ONLY knew the irony of these pictures. Some day soon he will.
This video was taken when O was 2 years old. He developed an obsession for the iPad and would do anything to play with it. You can see at the very end that he’s had enough.
So , how much have you laughed today?
Lots of Love, Laughing Out Loud,