Laughter – I Love to Laugh

by Al Smith

guest blog post by Claudia Anderson

 

Laughter – I Love to Laugh 

One of the best things about being part of the blogosphere is that I have had the pleasure of “meeting” some pretty amazing and compassionate people.  One of those people is the very C.A.R.E.ing Al Smith.  His desire to create an awareness and commitment to caring and gratitude is powerful.  I was thrilled and honored when Al asked me to guest post over here at his place.  Thank you, Al!  You are a joy to know! 

 Have you ever heard a baby erupt into a big belly laugh that is so deep and so real you can’t help but laugh with them? Have you yourself ever laughed so hard that your sides ache and you find tears streaming down your face?  I have.  Sometimes I experience laughing jags that leave me weak with exhaustion. 

  They say that laughter is the best medicine and I’m pretty sure “they” are right.

One of my earliest memories is being in the kitchen of the apartment we lived in as a little girl and watching my Mom and Dad laugh with each other and me laughing with them.  I don’t remember what precipitated the laughter…all I remember is that seeing my Mom and Dad laughing out loud created an urge to laugh with them.  And then, my laughter caused them to laugh even more and this made me giggle even harder…and so on and so on.  What was most compelling to my little toddler mind was the easy contagious nature of laughter.  It was one of those lessons that imprinted indelibly in my brain and affected my future relationship with laughter. 

Laughter for me has the ability to set my personal world upright again when it has been tipping and tilting precariously due to life’s challenges.  I rely on laughter to warm up a cold response.  I rely on laughter to break the ice in uncomfortable situations.  I rely on laughter to defuse potentially volatile confrontations.  Years of experience have taught me that the best form of laughter, the kind of laughter that most people can relate to, is that laughter which is directed at oneself.   Getting someone to laugh over mild self-deprecation helps most people to let their guard down.  Being mindful not to laugh at others but rather to find the humor in a situation or perhaps in your own foibles is an integral part of creating that contagious effect of laughter that we so often desire.

Perhaps it is a diversion for me, but, that lesson that I learned so very long ago in that happy apartment when my parent’s laughter filled the air has never left me.   Laughter’s ability to stimulate a comfortable environment…one that is not hostile or threatening…one that is infused with care and compassion…is so appealing to me.  So, if we should happen to meet one day, be assured that I will try to find a reason to laugh…a reason to bring laughter into your life.  Because, as the song in the Mary Poppins movie goes, I love to laugh.

Do you find comfort in laughter?  Does laughter help you to deal with difficult situations?  Is laughter an important part of your life?

 

 

 Claudia Anderson is a dentist whose practice, Family Dental Care Park Ridge is located in a suburb of Chicago. She is passionate about her family and career, and when she has time, social media, blogging and photography. Her two website homes are Park Ridge DDS and Social Media DDS and she can be found on Twitter as @ParkRidgeDDS and @SocialMediaDDS

 

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori Gosselin November 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi Claudia, Hi Al!
Yes, laughter is the best medicine! We NEED to laugh sometimes, – at our selves, at our lives! For instance, yesterday my coach suggested we change comments systems and I resisted. Today our comments system completely failed on us taking the choice out of my hands. The irony (and the funny part) is that my post for today – now going out tomorrow I hope – is about coincidence. If you can’t laugh at some things, you end up crying about them.
I remember my mother’s sense of humor – second to none. We would have times when we were all laughing to tears. I loved that about her!
Thanks for the Mary Poppins video – LOVE Dick Van Dyke!
Lori
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

Oh Lori…I am so sorry that the commenting system isn’t working today…it IS a strange coincidence in regards to what you WERE going to post. It’s not always easy to laugh about things that frustrate or upset us, but, if we can muster up the insight to “find” the humor hidden inside of each of our experiences, sometimes we can maybe start with a wry smile (the coincidence) and then, maybe when sharing the story, begin to laugh a little about the situation. Laughter is like a drug…and it’s free and great for your health…we need to take a dose of it as often as we can ;-)
Thanks for your love and support Lori…you always bring a smile to my face!
Claudia
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 9:12 am

Al,
Today is ‘Laughter Thursday” …at least it is here!! Thank you SO much for inviting me to guest post on your wonderful and welcoming site. You inspire many with your compassion and message of C.A.R.E. and I am proud to be a part of your home here.
Claudia
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Al Smith November 10, 2011 at 10:00 am

Thank YOU Claudia. Great post on laughter. what a great way to start the day or just laughing anytime is truly a wonderful feeling. It has been proven that when we are Happy, Laughing, Smiling, we are actually more receptive to learning and being more productive.
(Read “The Happiness Advantage” for more information). It is so true. i laugh a lot. some people think I am a bit …..well ….. crazy, if you will. But I have fun. when life happens (and believe me, it does) we need to step back, take a break and just LAUGH. It really helps. A lot.

thanks again for this engaging post. I laughed my ass off at the silly Mary poppins video. I know I’m gettin old. What a cool movie as a child.

Al
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Erin Feldman November 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

I do find comfort in laughter. I, too, have a childhood story about laughter. I don’t remember what caused it, but I had a fit of the giggles. All I really remember is that my mom looked at me and said, “You’re weird.” I guess things aren’t all that different these days. I earned another “You’re weird” comment from my mom a couple days ago, which brought that childhood memory to mind. I also use laughter as a way to defuse situations or to deal with things that scare me. I started to laugh a lot when I was taking martial arts and getting thrown all over the place…I think, though, that laughter sometimes can prevent talking about those scary things. It’s much easier to avoid a serious topic by laughing about something else.
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hi Erin…thanks so much for stopping by. I always love hearing what you have to say. I totally agree that sometimes we use laughter as a defense mechanism to avoid….emotions are complex and interesting. The whole dynamic behind nervous laughter is intriguing…we, as a society, are much more comfortable being around positive emotions than negative emotions and so, when we are very nervous and erupt into fits of nervous laughter, it is much more socially “acceptable” than, say, breaking down and crying (which we probably really WANT to do) So…we laugh. Interesting!!
Thanks so much Erin…your support and kindness mean a lot to me!
Claudia
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Bill Dorman November 10, 2011 at 11:36 am

Hey Claudia, great post. Yes, this is something I really need to work on because I find myself to serious and nobody thinks I’m any fun……

I had the pleasure of seeing @KarynBuxman speak/perform and she finds humor in every day life. She was really good and you should check her out. As an aside, she grew up w/ an old pen pal of mine and when I heard she was from Hannibal, MO I approached her and asked if she knew my friend. She did and they were FB friends and now I have re-acquainted w/ my friend after many years. That was kind of cool.

Obviously, I am NOT the serious guy and I too find humor in the most mundane, offbeat, or off the wall stuff. I was watching a movie with my wife and she said I was laughing at all the wrong times but I guess that is just how my mind works.

I do seek out humor because it does the soul good; it keeps me young.

Thanks for sharing your story and good to see you at Al’s today.
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Bill…I just LOVE your humor…it is sincere, it is mostly self directed so you are never hurting anyone’s feelings and it is spontaneous…it’s one of the reasons people are drawn to you.
Okay, enough of THAT pandering ;-)
My favorite line in your comment was “My wife said I was laughing at all the wrong times” I don’t know why but I find that charmingly hilarious. I think that we ALL could stand to learn how to laugh at all the “wrong” times because it might make those times more enjoyable. And I’ll betcha,,,,when you are watching TV with your wife and you do laugh at the “wrong times’ I betcha she starts laughing too. That’s the crazy power of laughter…it is SO contagious.
Keep seeking laughter….it serves us well!!
Claudia
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Betsy Cross November 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

I love to laugh. When I’m stressed and don’t feel like it I try to muster up the strength to tickle my kids. Once they start it gets easier. And they appreciate it, too! Thanks for such a positive post! It was needed today.
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Hi Betsy…I am still smiling at your comment…maybe that is the solution…we all need kids to hang around with us and when we are having a tough day, we call them over to us and we tickle them to generate laughter…I love it…Our own personal Tickle Me Elmos ;-) Well, you definitely made ME laugh today and I am glad that this post lightened your day a little bit!!
Thanks so much for your fun comment!
Claudia
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Kaarina Dillabough November 10, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I love to laugh! Cheers! Kaarina
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Hi Kaarina!!! Everything about you exudes positive and joyful feelings. There is no doubt in my mind that you love to laugh….and I think that you strive to help others find the laughter in their life as well….thank you!! And thank you for adding to my smiles today!
Claudia
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Kaarina Dillabough November 11, 2011 at 6:08 pm

That made me smile…and laugh with glee:) Cheers! Kaarina
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Chris Richards - Mindnod.com November 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

A day with out laughter for me is a wasted day. I try to listen to or watch something funny everyday. I try to make someone laugh (usually my wife) every day.
If you can’t laugh at least give a warm smile even if it’s to your self.
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Hi Chris…Thanks so much for your kind comment…..I couldn’t agree with you more….it takes less energy (“they” say) to smile than it does to frown….and who wants to deal with all of those frowny wrinkles anyway!! What do you listen to or watch that makes you laugh? Do you watch sitcoms?
Claudia
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Melody | Deliberate Receiving November 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm

What a wonderful post, Claudia!

I love to laugh. It’s not that hard for my brain to twist something that someone said (I get these hilarious visual flashes) which then sends me off on one of those giggle attacks where I can barely breathe. You know the ones.. Then, people around me can’t help but laugh at my laughing. The only problem is, once we finally all calm down, they want to know what was so funny. And it generally isn’t. It’s like you had to be there, in my head… :)

I love how laughter is so contagious, though. When we see a child or anyone really, laughing authentically, really giggling away, we can’t help but join in. It’s beautiful.

Hugs and laughter!
Melody
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Al Smith November 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hi Mellow-D. Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate the support. I completely agree with your comment. i am a little twisted myself and laugh at crazy stuff all the time. I was laughing while reading your comment, because that happens to me a lot. A lot of times i laugh at things that other people don’t think as funny. But thats ok with me. Ha !

And yes, laughter is contagious, as are frowns and negative vibes, We have a choice to share and spread joy and happiness, or not, I choose laughter and joy (most of the time) It sure is a better way to live. thanks again for sharing and caring.

Al

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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Hi Melody! Thank you for your lovely comment…you brought a smile to my day! I can completely relate to those ” you’ve gotta be there” situations that happen inside our heads and trying to share the funny imagery…well it’s a lost cause…and of course THAT can become funny too. Hmmmmmm the laugh cycle may never end ;-) . And by the way, even your parenthetical “I get these hilarious visual flashes” made me laugh because in my speedy reading I saw “I get these visual hot flashes” and I thought “NO WAY”….see?? You had to be there;-)
Thanks so much Melody…you are such fun!
Claudia
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Jk Allen November 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Hi Claudia,

I really enjoyed this post because I really love to laugh. I love to find the funniest youtube video and watch it over and over just for the laughs. All of my kids are clowns so they keep my abs in shape from constant laughter.

Life can be harsh at times. Laughter helps neutralize and balance!

Nice to meet you
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Claudia November 10, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Hi Jk! Nice to meet you too! I love the line “laughter helps neutralize and balance”….how true! I look to laughter to balance my life so frequently. That all being said, Jk I think you may be onto something….laughter can help me get fabulous abs?? I am SO in! Let’s open a laughter gym!! I think it might work! ;-)
Thanks so much for your support here!
Claudia
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Jack @ TheJackB November 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I simply refuse to laugh because the last thing I want is for the lines on my face to start fighting each other. You know those frowns don’t go the same way as the laugh lines and it would really suck if they created some sort of tic-tac-toe board on my face.
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Claudia November 11, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi Jack….okay, so your comment made ME laugh…mission accomplished. Now I have to deal with all of the opposing wrinkles fighting for space….;-)
Thanks for stopping by…you know you make people laugh with your quick humor…and I am sure that there is a LOT of laughter at your house with the kids around. Maybe they could play tic-tac-toe on your face??? Maybe??
;-)
Claudia
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Anna November 11, 2011 at 8:16 am

You must definitely laugh! It is known that laughter stimulates releasing of serotonin, dopamine and other mediators that affect your mood! So except for being pleasant, laughing is healthy as well!
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Claudia November 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Anna….thanks for stopping by! I SO completely agree…not only does laughing feel great from an emotional point of view but it creates measurable chemical changes within our body that improves our mood and our health. So, really, we should all find something to laugh about and improve our health!!
I so appreciate your input!!
Claudia
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Justin | Personal Growth November 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Hi Claudia,
I also have been fortunate enough to meet some really amazing people online. I love to laugh and laugh often. My favorite is to watch “spoof ” movies like Airplane or the Naked Gun. Nothing breaks up “stuck” energy in the body like a good belly laugh.
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Julia April 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm

I was looking up a way to describe myself and typed in Love to Laugh and I found your site…. Hilarious… I’m laughing at how the internet works…so it sparked a thought that I found frequently happening since I began loving life again… when people ask me how I’m doing and I respond “Fantastic or Great or Just fantabulous”… they always smile and laugh… that is all and it is awesome…thanks for letting me share (-;

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