If You Can’t Laugh, Go Home

“If you can’t laugh you may as well go home,” chokes Danny, tears streaming down his face.

He is bent over in my garden, holding his aching ribs, twitching with laughter. This is quite impressive as just two days before he had been in hospital with suspected swine flu. His face was swelling up faster than a hippo with water retention and his voice sounded like porky pig with a taste for helium.

Thankfully (?) it wasn’t swine flu, but an illegal tattoo that became infected and made Danny so sick that he’d split his esophagus  (hence the fluid under his skin and the weird reaction in his voice box). And now that the anti bios had kicked in and his voice had returned to it’s slightly high, Norfolk twang, neither of us are able to stop laughing. Hysterically.

I love a bit of laughter.

You can’t NOT love laughter, can you?

Laughter is pure gorgeousness.

And it heals.

Read this …

“Back in 1979, The New England Journal of Medicine published a report based on Norman Cousins, a noted journalist and editor of the Saturday Review. In the 1960s Cousins had been diagnosed with a debilitating spinal disease and given a 1/500 chance of survival. Based on his belief in the importance of environment on healing, Cousins checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel, where he took large doses of vitamin C and watched continual episodes of Candid Camera and the Marx Brothers. He found, over time, that laughter stimulated chemicals in his body that allowed him several hours of pain-free sleep. He continued the treatment until, eventually, his disease went into remission, and he was able to return to work. The study became the basis for a best-selling book, Anatomy of an Illness, as well as a television movie of the same name.”

Ever since Cousins did this amazing study, countless scientists and people in the medical profession have conducted similar tests with very similar results. For example, the University of Maryland, conducted a study where people were shown laughter-provoking movies to test the effect on cardiac health. The results, presented at the American College of Cardiology, showed that laughter appeared to cause the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate, thus increasing blood flow and avoiding dangerous vessel constriction. Time and time again, study after study, the evidence has come back that laughter, over time, offers significant medical benefits, including boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, improving heart and respiratory functions, even regulating blood sugar.
Laughter is amazing. If I could choose one way to respond to any situation, it would be with a sense of humor.

There is an amazing quote by Victor Frankl that goes, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

To be able to have something happen, briefly feel the twang of pain and then bridge that gap by seeing the comedy is utterly liberating.  In that tiny gap between something happening and the emotion that follows, we have a split second to choose our perspective.

I have and will always choose comedy.

Below is a video that was taken a couple of weeks ago at the kid’s sports day. It is of my wonderful, hilarious, side splitting, pant wetting friend, the Naughty Nordy (she’s the bin-liner model from my lumi jacket post). Every time I feel myself getting into an experience of feeling sad or anxious, I watch this little vid on my phone and it makes me cry with laughter.

Laughter is an experience shifter. Use it in great helpings. And if you don’t want to, it’s very simple. Go home.


7 thoughts on “If You Can’t Laugh, Go Home

  1. Thank you darling. That girl is epic. I almost added in a section to this post about the time that you fell off the stool in the pub backwards and landed with your legs in the air, showing your knickers just as the whole, crowded pub turned around and stared and you went bright red and clambered back onto your stool cringing with total humiliation. But then I thought maybe I shouldn’t do it. Whoops. xxx

  2. yeah glad I have a point to being here and making people laugh!! If I remember, and I was very sober, I was wearing jeans so no one saw my knickers, just my very red

  3. Ok, so you were sober, but I swear you weren’t wearing jeans. It’s okay though. We can pretend you were wearing jeans … Yup, you were wearing jeans. Janin … was she wearing jeans? xxx

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