My head, arteries and heart would have exploded eons ago merely from stress (which I do NOT handle well) were it not for the fact that I can laugh loud and long over the stupidest things.
My husband came in the other night and WOKE ME UP (reminder: I have to be up at 4 a.m. for work) to tell me something that a former classmate posted on Facebook for God’s sake. Totally. Worth it. And I roughly quote:
Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire.
I don’t mind if you think I’m an idiot because I laugh out loud at things. I figure that laughing is probably the healthiest thing I do on a daily basis. I listen to The News Quiz on ad day, and I will re-play old episodes that I remember are particularly funny. (“What does Nick Clegg stand for? David Cameron entering the room.”)
But yesterday I found this on Zoe Archer’s tumblr blog and it took the cake:
(reblogged from lissbirds originally from instrumentality)
I seriously couldn’t stop laughing today. I had it on my phone and showed it to everyone I encountered. And EVERY SINGLE TIME I erupted into laughter. Not giggles, not a polite ha-ha, but full body howling, holding my sides because my abs were hurting from laughing so much. I heard D laugh his first-in-my-presence non-snarky laugh. My store director, another D, agreed that, yes, it might be an appropriate sign for me to hang in the office and tried to keep a straight face when I said I was going to send it to the head of HR and tell her I thought we needed them in the stores. And, yes yet another, D liked how it had been two days since the previous velociraptor incident. Even R said, near the end of my day, that we were close to making it 3 days without an incident, and could we change the post-it-note?
Because I’m, well, me, here are some of the actual benefits of laughter:
(courtesy of “This Emotional Life” Public Broadcasting System)
Physical benefits of mirth and laughter:
- Increased endorphins and dopamine
- Increased relaxation response
- Reduced pain
- Reduced stress
Cognitive benefits of humor and mirth:
- Increased creativity
- Improved problem-solving ability
- Enhanced memory (for humorous material)
- Increased ability to cope with stress, by providing an alternative, less serious perspective on one’s problems
Emotional benefits of humor and mirth:
- Elevated mood and feelings of well-being
- Reduced depression, anxiety, and tension
- Increased self-esteem and resilience
- Increased hope, optimism, energy, and vigor
Social benefits of humor and mirth:
- Bonding with friends and family
- Reinforcement of group identity and cohesiveness
- Increased friendliness and altruism
- Increased attractiveness to others
- Happier marriages and close relationships
Although I notice that “surviving velociraptor incident” isn’t on the list. Perhaps it should be.