Laughter is an instant vacation. Milton Berle
It's almost time for spring renewal and I’m thinking about unplugging. If only it were easy. I sometimes wish my mental operating system worked a little more like a computer. When things get all jammed up in my brain and I'm not sure what task to do next, it would be so cool to be able to reboot or defrag.
According to some experts there is data that suggest the the human brain reboots with laughter. But how can we possibly laugh when there are so many problems to solve, when we are surrounded by so many sad, serious and stressful circumstances? Where is the humor in all that? How do we learn to stop taking ourselves and others so seriously?
When I was a kid, I often played a game with my brothers and cousins we called "Make Me Laugh." We locked ourselves in a room and took turns cracking each other up. No parents allowed. These silly sessions would go on for hours. We would try out new material on one another, and refine tested material that was sure to draw wild, raucous laughter. In between, we were on the lookout for funny stuff that we could use the next time. "Make Me Laugh" regularly tuned us into the funnier side of life. Eventually we grew up, however, moved on and forgot all of this silliness.
We didn’t know about all the benefits of laughter. It turns out that laughter helps us in several ways:
- Laughter is an immediate stress buster.
- It boosts our immune system.
- Laughter protects the heart by creating joy.
- It activates creativity.
- It fortifies relationships.
- Laughter helps us keeps things in perspective.
- Laughter is free.
- And, as a bonus, laughter burns calories.
Perhaps it's time to take laughter a little more seriously. Do we have to learn to laugh? Should we take a laughing class? Does practicing laughter make us better at it?