The only reason I’m still alive

by mollykl

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.