When Laughter Is Missing
The pain was unbearable. Joy and Laughter disappeared entirely from my life.
It was clear the doctors had given up on finding a solution. They simply dispensed stronger and stronger pills to ward off the constant migraines along with the back and neck pain.
I struggled with the idea of suicide. My children needed a mother who could take care of them. The quicker I was gone, the better off they were.
After my experience with the psychiatrist, I started firing those doctors who wouldn’t or couldn’t listen to me.
It was time to take charge of my recovery or give in to my desire to die.
My new doctor sat and listened to my story of a steady decline in health and well-being since the car accident. He listened.
Life Without Joy and Laughter
As I finished, I started to weep. “There is no joy, no laughter in my life, and there hasn’t been for over five years.
Leaning back in his chair, he smiled and agreed that after five years, pills were not the answer.
We needed to do something to help restore my muscles and independence in life.
He decided to send me to the Pain Institute at Sister Kinney.
Turning a Corner
If you boil a funny bone, it becomes a laughing stock. That’s very humerus.
At Sister Kinney, I learned vigorous laughter increases the heart rate, deepens the breathing rate, and uses muscles in the face, stomach, and diaphragm. Laughter also increases the oxygen in our tissues. They did studies that showed people who laughed 15 minutes a day enjoyed longer life-spans.
But, how could I find anything funny with all the pain I was experiencing?
The first weekend they allowed us to go home, I zeroed in on reruns of old sitcoms:
- Three’s Company
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
- Sanford & Son
- Laverne & Shirley
- Mork & Mindy
- The Jefferson’s
And you know what? I didn’t notice the pain as much.
I was able to spend some quality time with the boys that day, and it was magical.
Did my pain diminish? No. The thing that reduced was my brain’s ability to recognize it through the laughter. I’d filled my head with something other than the constant misery of accepting the pain that controlled every aspect of life.
Laughter can reduce stress and pain.
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. -Lord Byron
Laughter Inspires Hope
I have learned in the years since that laughter connects me to others while enhancing my relationships.
Certain friends begin to giggle when they see me. For them, I’m the queen of the one-liners, and I keep them laughing. It’s simple. The laughter is fun and free to use. It supports both my physical and mental health.
I challenge you to watch this video and not feel better when it’s over. I especially loved “Bubble, Boy!”
Laughter will help you get through this crisis and the next one.
It has the power to heal and renew.
You will soon discover it will enhance your relationships and empower you to rise above the stress and pain that anchor you to that dark spot.
Laughter fortifies that inner voice of hope, offering escape and strength.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face – Victor Hugo.
What Do You Have to Lose?
Relaxation: Laughter helps relieve stress and physical tension. Muscles can remain relaxed for up to 45 minutes, reducing spasms and chronic pain cycles.
Endorphines: Do you want a natural “High?” The body produces more endorphins with laughter, which temporarily mask pain and increase your overall sense of safety.
Immunity: While laughter begins to reduce your feelings of stress, it’s also working to increase immune cells and antibodies to improve your resistance to disease.
Happiness: Nothing halts an angry outburst like shared laughter. When we can look at something with shared humor, the hatred and anger seem to melt away quickly. It puts everything into perspective and allows us to discover the path beyond resentment.
Heart Health: Blood vessels respond positively to laughter by increasing the flow of blood. Proper blood flow protects you from the cardiovascular problems that create heart attacks.
So, if you want to strengthen your resilience and relationships, you may want to bring more laughter into your lives.
Laughter promotes the release of inhibitions, allowing us to be more spontaneous. When defensiveness evaporates, we open the door to true expression.
He who laughs, lasts! – Mary Pettibone Poole
Bring It On!
Laughter brings out the best in us. The therapeutic benefits of humor will far outlast the efforts you put in.
We were born with the ability to smile and laugh. Nothing warms my soul more than the sound of a baby’s laughter. We need to harness that joy and bring it back into our daily lives.
Start smiling at the checker in the grocery store.
Nod and smile at the older adult struggling to get down the aisles with her cart and wish her a pleasant day.
Stop looking down at your phone and begin the awakening that awaits you when you start noticing the people around you and share a smile with them.
Take out a pen and pencil and make a list of everything in your life you’re grateful for at this moment. This task can take several days as you finally break through the barriers of resentment and realize all the good you have experienced along your path.
You may have to distance yourself from people who continuously bring negativity into your life. If they can’t join you in breaking the old habits of anger and distrust, find new friends who bring you joy and hope.
The Best Medicine
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