The importance of laughter

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Saturday, July 12, 2014


YOU may have heard it over and over and over in your lifetime. Laughter is the best medicine. Agree?? :)

In the past weeks, I have realized that I have started laughing out loud more often. I mean, REALLY laugh. Not the usual shy giggle nor that ‘demure’ kind of laughter that’s more likely to end with anyone farting if you try to suppress it; but boisterous, all-out laughter that makes you tingly all over!! Hahaha just the thought of it makes me feel so happy! In our daily challenges, we often get stuck with the grim reality that life is not a bed of roses. Especially when bad things happen one after another, we often lose sight of the fact that there is always tomorrow and that means, a new chance for a better day to unfold. We become so enmeshed in that gloomy vibe that we lose track of the fact that there had been sunnier days and that sunshiny days can actually be ahead if we only learn to pay more attention to the better, brighter side of life while we learn from its not-so-good flipside.

I guess I was one of those who forgot how genuine laughter felt so good. We all experience that in one point of our lives, when we believed that there simply was no reason to be happy. Added to that, the world had become so cynical that whenever you express pure joy, people either bash you for it for whatever reason, or, that you have somehow gone off to the deep end and launched yourself into the abyss of utter madness! Hehe. I laugh about this now, but there was a time when I would simply frown and say: “What the heck? “ Yeah. Whatever happened to live and let live? When did society start dictating what makes us happy more than how we truly feel inside? It seems that everyone has started wearing their masks to hide weakness and strength. Yes. Those two opposing poles! It seems that there has been a conscious effort not to show that you are flawed so that people think that you are absolutely indestructible and at the same time hide the fortitude you possess so that people will never be able to figure out what hit them when you do get around to actually fighting back!

Yeah. That’s probably how things roll now but still, it takes a lot out of humanity. It just feels like one has intently depersonalized himself. Not good. Don’t get me wrong, life’s blows and the hurt and pain that it brings us molds us to be better people. It teaches us to learn from our mistakes or, at least, forces us to be aware that we still have a lot of lessons to master. It is expected out of living, to be constantly in a state of happy and sad, the way roller coasters have its ups and downs. Oh and loops too! We are all too familiar about how it goes but still we need to try and appreciate everything so that we do not end up being weighed down by unfortunate events. We should be aware that we need to find that healthy balance between good and bad to really learn to appreciate the life that has been given to us.

Life’s troubles can be a dense forest without sunlight passing through the thick foliage blocking out even a glimmer that can light our way. We can find ourselves in complete darkness, afraid of the unknown and the unseen; apprehensive about what could lie ahead. The stress of not knowing what could happen just takes away all the fun and the appreciation that we should have about our own journey. Not only do we worry about ourselves but we also think about the repercussions of the events on our family and friends. Stressful. So. True. And so how else can anyone smile, right?

Sus! Of course you can! Happiness is a choice!! If you choose to be happy then laughter is never that far behind. It may take some practice to focus more on the brighter side of life but once you get the hang of it, it really gets easier to laugh and be happy!! Laughter is so good for our mental health so try it! We all know that laughing releases endorphins that are our body’s natural painkillers! When we laugh we take in lots of oxygen-rich air that fire up our bodies to create these chemicals so that we end up feeling better! It eases tension and allows us to relax our tired minds and frayed bodies. Stressful situations keep us tightly wound up sometimes that we often reach the point of breaking without even realizing it. It takes away objectivity too. If we could go doing our own business with less the stress, we can do things with more focus and be able to accomplish more!

Laugh more! Find that funny bone in your body that will help you appreciate life even more for the happiness that it brings! Learn to laugh at yourself! Nobody is perfect! We are all going to make mistakes, some worse than others, and there will be those we will not have any control over no matter what! Take it with a grain and salt and yes, with a little humor too! Try to find laughter in life’s serious challenges. Life can be tough as it is so try and find that packet of giggle hidden in a bad situation and be amused how life can sometimes be ironic! Surround yourself with things that normally make you smile to remind yourself that life is good and beautiful when you choose to see it! Get intoxicated with the good vibes that comes with having a good laugh with friends and family... or even when you’re all alone. You will definitely feel the weight lifting off your shoulders and appreciate life better in its rainbow-colored splendor! Laugh more!! Have a Happy Sunday Everyone!! :)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 13, 2014.

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