Laughing Matters

I am often asked why I smile so much.  Often, these inquisitive ones are looking only at the difficulties in caring for a medically fragile child as a 24/7 job. I respond simply, “I can either cry about it or laugh about it; I choose laughter.”

Humans are social creatures, and humor is one of the greatest interactions we have that connects us to one another. We laugh in countless situations in countless settings, from family dinners to friendly get-togethers. Even when first meeting someone, a well-placed and proper joke does wonders in breaking the ice and paving the way to more casual interaction. Humor is fun, easy, usually free, and makes us feel comfortable being around one another in everyday social settings—something that is often overlooked when meeting a child with special needs.

Studies have shown that laughter really is medicinal. In fact, laughing is similar to exercising in that it works your core muscles and stimulates the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. When you have a good, hearty chuckle, your body increases endorphin levels and reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Subsequently, your body’s stress responses diminish: blood pressure lowers, muscles relax, and mood improves. Not only will you feel refreshed after a good giggle fit with friends but that shared chuckle over the ridiculous demands of doctors, therapists and home lives also helps your immune system stay active.

I came across an acronym based on the word “LAUGH” to help folks remember how to find humor every day.

is for “LET GO” of whatever is angering or distressing you. Take a couple of deep breaths and recognize that you have the power to rise above whatever is bothering you. This enables you to become more aware of how you view a situation and to think about changing your attitude.


is for “ATTITUDE”. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can respond to our experiences with a positive attitude. The way we respond is more important than the actual events.


is for “YOU”, because only YOU can change your attitude or let go.


is for “GO DO IT”, or use what you find in the previous steps to give yourself a more positive and hopeful perspective.


is for “HUMOR EYES AND EARS”. Humor is all around us all the time, but we don’t always notice it. Look around and notice something you didn’t see before, like a bumper sticker, for example, that may make you laugh.

Now, get out there and use that humor of yours to laugh at all these lemons life inexplicably puts in your pockets.

 

One Comment on “Laughing Matters

  1. Very nice. Of course we have all experienced the tears, but then we get past that point of our grief to the place where we can see the world through our children’s eyes. And that indeed helps to see the humor in many situations, as our kids are likely to do!

    Susan, mom of Beth, 28 septopreoptic HPE

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