Laugh Happy

I’m a big fan of laughing as a path to happiness.  

Psychology Today explains:

“Laughter just might be the most contagious of all emotional experiences. What’s more, it is a full-on collaboration between mind and body. Although laughter is one of the distinguishing features of human beings, little is known about the mechanisms behind it.  Scientists do know that laughter is a highly sophisticated social signaling system, helping people bond and even negotiate. Interestingly, most social laughter does not result from any obvious joke . . . Although laughter is not generally under voluntary control, yukking it up has numerous health benefits: It releases tension, lowers anxiety, boosts the immune system, and aids circulation. Contagious convulsions are anything but frivolous.”

Happiness is not frivolous, people.  Yuk it up.




26 thoughts on “Laugh Happy

  1. I’m a big fan of laughter. My parents were the type who always raised me to try to see the silly side of things. My father’s family is one of those cliched big Irish American families that love a good funny story or joke.

    When my husband and I were dating he said “I feel like the funniest man in the world.” He’s not (really, I”d probably say Eddie Izzard is ;-)) but suffice to say I love to laugh and make other people laugh. I don’t really trust overly serious people. What are they hiding? 😉

  2. I know that I’m pretty funny as long as I don’t try to be. I simply say what I’m thinking and others laugh because it is funny and then I laugh because they’re laughing and then we’re all this circle of laughappiness.

    I love doing laughter yoga with the school children and the youth group children. It’s beautiful watching them crack up.

    I’m happy because the new device finally arrived. I spent a good bit of time tracking a lot of y’all down on the Instagram app that I could finally download.

    Yesterday, I really and TRULY realized how depressed I’d been, and for a duration longer than I thought. South Africa were playing England in a Rugby test in Jhb. I caught the second half and I enjoyed it tremendously. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed since I was about 5 or 6 even though I was from a family where nobody watched it. That’s the lies depression tells you. It’s one of the signs. It’s not that I fell into disliked of it, rather I forgot how to like things.

    Big reveal that. Suggests that I’ve been experiencing episodic depression for a number of years now and just didn’t know it.

    So I’m happy that I know and that I can be more vigilant in future.

    1. When I was in the psyche ward, we were responsible for our own entertainment on Saturday nights. One week, I sent my Mom out to buy some cheap wind-up toys and a tube of bubbles. We had a great time acting like children and not worrying about whether or not our laughter was an “appropriate” response.

      Since I got out I also bought some DVDs of my favorite cartoons and take them out whenever I am sad, lonely, or particularly depressed. The good ones make me laugh no matter how many times I watch them.

    2. I made a dent in the “forgot liking” aspect of depression by making a card file. When my submerged mind would connect wih my executive function and recognise “staring at the wall” moments, I created a trigger behavior moment to pull out a card & do whatever it said to do, in that moment, that would please me, e.g., sing a song all the way through. Often I would be prompted to continue.
      Nowadays, I have given myself permission to sing in public, albeit softly. Always grounds & elates me (would this be self-contradictory? Walt would say, “I contain multitudes.”). Thanks for being such noticing women. You enlarge my life.

    3. Sure Thing – I also experience people laughing at how I say things without me trying to be funny. Apparently, how I think is just odd to them.

      Also your statement of “I forgot how to like things” really resonates with me. I’m finding it really hard to relax and enjoy. I over pack my life and am too busy. I also must be productive. As Jenny would say, I must cogitate on this more.

  3. For some time now I’ve been collecting videos that make me laugh, because for going on four years now, in the late afternoon and early evening I feel very sad for no logical reason. It’s super annoying. No matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, it’s like clockwork. My doctor said it’s probably a dip in hormones at that time of day.

    So I often try to combat it with funny videos.

    Eddie Izard: “I’m covered in bees!!!” is one such video.

    This is the latest one that makes me laugh every time:

    Commander Fistfight. That name alone makes me crack up.

      1. Right? I consciously know that there is no reason to feel sad, that the sadness is a lie, but it feels real. For about two hours and then poof. Until the next day. Argh, indeed.

        1. Sunlight, in the winter months I’d get very dark, until I make myself stand in some sun during my lunch break

        2. I struggled with depression for most of my youth, so I recognize it when it crops up. But it still took me a long time to figure out that I was dealing with it the last couple of years, probably because of menopause hormones (thanks a lot, menopause). Along with the state of the world, probably. Ironically, I’m 12 years into menopause, and every year there is some new and lovely hormonal zinger…

    1. Wow. I thought I was the only one. I’m sorry for everyone dealing with this, because it’s no fun, but I’m glad to know I’m not as much of a freak as I thought. Try St. John’s Wort. I find it helps, but check with your doctor, because it can raise blood pressure.

    2. Hormones, yes. Could also be light related. Investigate getting yourself a proper light-sensitivity light for those two hours.

  4. I’ve been laughing at kitten antics. Mabel managed to climb up the door of the crate and then twisted around to get out onto the top of the crate while my back was turned, because I was corralling another kitten who’d climbed up my sweatshirt to my neck. There was a light blanket on top of the crate, so Mabel went running in circles up there, giggling and shouting “I’m free, I’m free, and you guys aren’t!” while the kittens in the crate climbed the walls and tried to chase her footprints from inside. The crate is on a table, so the top is out of my reach, and even out of sight unless I stepped back a ways to see where Mabel was. She usually likes to be picked up and comes running to me when I open the crate door, but once up on top of the crate, she gleefully eluded capture. I did get her eventually, and there was a bit of panic in there along with the laughter, but I definitely laughed without reservation once I had her safe back with her siblings.

    And not a laughing happiness, but a relieved happiness — momcat let me pat her yesterday. First with a toothbrush that she’d checked out and declared to be not something that would eat her, and then with actual fingers. She’s still wary, but that was a big step forward in our relationship. Of course, she’s going to hate me again later this week when I snatch the kittens from her to take to the vet for their vaccinations.

  5. I’ve had some good hits of happiness this week. I’m happy to have a working iPhone again. I loved exploring and finding a good new place in my favourite wood (as shared on Wednesday). I did tai chi taster session on Friday and enjoyed it – so have signed up for the next six weeks. And have just heard of an art class which might suit me, which I hope to try on Wednesday. Most fun has been visiting open studios yesterday and today, and as usual having some great conversations with artists/friends.

  6. Been generally happy lately, though my boss says I have been taking things personally – I guess I am not coming across to her that way. Funny how it can go that way.

    Made cookies for the people who generally show up at my house on Saturday nights, and they were very well received. I sometimes wonder why I buy grocery store cookies, when home made are so much better.

    Decided to read “The Making of a Marchioness” by Francis Hodgeson Burnett,and am enjoying it every bit as much as I expected to.

  7. I’m spending a week with one of the people that makes me laugh the most…. I’m very fortunate and plan to enjoy it!


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