Laughter really is the best medicine—it’s not just a cliched catchphrase. Humor abounds in life, even in the most difficult and trying of times, and if we can laugh in those times, we usually find that we are strong enough to survive them. Laughter is restorative; it heals our broken hearts and makes our pain hurt a little less. Laughter also strengthens our bonds with other people and helps us to form friendships and mend them.
On the topic of laughter, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“How long has it been since you have had a good belly-laugh? Good laughter seems to be a treasure that is in short supply of late.
Most of us are distrustful and embarrassed by our laughter. As children we were constantly told to suppress it. Often it seems almost lost to us. We are afraid to laugh alone, and we are embarrassed to laugh with others. What a state!
Laughter is one of the gifts of being human. We can’t force it, but we can sure stop suppressing it in ourselves and in our children.”
So much of our humor and creativity as children is discouraged by adults. As we become adults ourselves, we are told we must be serious, take ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in seriously. Why though? With seriousness comes rigidity, and that which is rigid breaks. Humor teaches us to be flexible, to revel in the moments that take us by surprise, to see the unexpected in life for the joyous gifts that they are. Laughter requires us to let go and simply be present. No wonder it does our bodies and minds such good! There is nothing quite like a good hearty laugh that expels all the air from our lungs, exhausts our muscles, and brings tears to our eyes. Laughter cleanses the soul and restores our spirit. We all see the world a little more clearly after a good hearty laugh.