Reduce Stress: Start Laughing
According to a study conducted by the American Heart
Association, the ability to laugh is a good indicator of heart
health. Their study of 150 patients support the fact that
laughter has the potential to improve heart health by as much as
There are so many funny things in the world, it's amazing we
ever frown. I made an effort yesterday to catalog all of the
hilarious moments throughout my day. I gave up after an hour,
there were just too many. I laugh easily, but it takes a lot to
get a true belly laugh out of me.
You know the kind. It starts with a chuckle, a deep noise in the
back of my throat. Then it grows into bursts of sound from the
mouth, punctuated by an occasional gasp for air. Finally, the
entire body is shaking, yet all noise has ceased. Typically,
when I reach this point, I have tears rolling down my face, I
can barely breathe, and there's no way I could speak if I tried.
Yesterday I had one of those moments. A totally out of control
laughing experience. As usual, it was a result of my own
behavior. I was in my martial arts class, learning a new
sparring combination. I've attended classes for the past year,
so I'm no longer completely inept, but I still have my moments.
This happened to be one of them.
Picture a woman of small stature stepping up to a man who is at
least a full foot taller. She takes a defensive stance, her feet
solidly planted, fists raised in front of her head for
protection. He gives the signal for her to start, she steps
back, cocks her fist and fires off a roundhouse punch at his
head. He moves to block, unnecessarily as it turns out. Her hand
continues it's forward trajectory, coming around as roundhouse
punches are apt to do, until it connects with her jaw.
Stunned, she rubs her face. That was not the intended target!
She looks at her clenched fist for a moment in confusion, then
looks up to see her partner shaking with laughter. Unable to
resist, she joins him. It seems funnier by the moment and soon
the laughter grows to a point of no return. Five minutes later,
I had to excuse myself from the training hall to use the
restroom and make some attempt to regain my dignity.
Physical comedy has always brought me to tears. I love reading a
passage in a novel, or a scene in a short story, depicting some
action with unintended consequences. I fully enjoy laughing at
these comedic scenes, largely because I can picture myself
easily doing the same! Falling, tumbling, tripping, you name it,
I've done it. If I could do it on cue, I would be famous.
Laughter is a great stress reliever. After a good laughing
session, muscles are relaxed and your mind is clear. Most of us
spend a great amount of time being serious so we need the comic
relief laughter provides. Life is full of funny, you don't have
to look hard to find it so open your eyes and laugh that stress
away! Your heart will thank you for it.