By Linda Commito
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy—we’re happy because we laugh”.—Dr. Madan Kataria
Who doesn’t need a good laugh these days? It seems like such a rarity for many of us, especially with this global challenge, but not for Hannah Bellaff, who created Facebook/laughteradaykeepsthedoctoraway. She believes what new research indicates: “laughing with friends releases feel good brain chemicals, which also relieves pain.” Within a week of creating her Facebook page, it had a life of its own, and now has more than 1,000 members and growing. Hannah feels, “I’ve done something good here”. No politics or sex bashing . . . just pure fun for everyone to enjoy.
During a small community gathering, I drew the Just Ask 1 2 3 question: What is a funny thing that happened to you? I shared my laughable mishap and called it: “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” :
I’d just started a new job as a manufacturer’s gift rep and was ready, in my finest dress, for a big day at the Denver Merchandise Mart, meeting and writing orders for customers. At some point, I decided to take a quick trip to the restroom. As I was rushing back towards the showroom, through the atrium, I heard a loud “OOOOOPS!” just as the caterer carrying the huge tureen of vegetable soup for the cafeteria stopped too short as he tried to avoid me. With vegetables flying through the air, I soon I found myself covered in soup! He told me to come to the kitchen where he handed me an oversized kitchen smock.
Luckily, I kept my sense of humor. Imagine the surprised looks and mouths agape as I faced my boss and customers wearing my white smock, with potatoes in my shoes and carrots in my hair! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t say anything except, “I have to go home, but I’ll be back.” When I arrived home, my roommate’s dog could hardly contain itself . . . a sensory feast had arrived! A quick shower and a fresh outfit and I was soon back to business. But that cafeteria worker would never come near me again, backing off especially if I dared to order soup. (For Seinfeld fans, it reminded me of the scene: No Soup for You!)
While I have never been quick at getting jokes, I will admit that I can crack myself up over crazy things that I’ve said or done and hoped that no one witnessed. But it is often those silly things that offer the greatest opportunity to laugh at our human foibles. Ok. I’ll share one (if you will): Today I looked down at my hand and noticed a sliver. (If you knew me, you’d know that I hate needles and used to run down the street as a kid whenever I sensed that I would be getting a shot.) But my partner, Francesco, said he’d help and we got out the tweezers and hydrogen peroxide. I closed my eyes and turned my head so as not to look, as he tried a couple of times to no avail. I said, “I’m going to put my glasses on so I can see it better.” And then I burst out laughing. It wasn’t a sliver after all, but an ink line that was easily rubbed out! LOL! (Ok…no “getting old” comments please!)
It may be harder to find things to laugh at these days, but we need it more than ever. The staff at the Mayo Clinic says: “When it comes to relieving stress, more giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor ordered. Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.”
How can we help each other and ourselves by focusing on things that make us laugh . . . cartoons, funny movies, quotes and sharing those things that lighten up our moods and perspective on life?
I’m finding that the more I can see the humor in a situation, the easier it is to deal with, and the more I can have a good laugh over something, the better I feel about it. We can all use a little laughter in our lives these days and a little vacation from our much too serious selves.
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.