Recently, while talking with an old friend, I laughed about something he said. Instantly, he told me how good it was to hear me laughing and how he'd missed the sound (we haven't talked in a long time). His statement took me by surprise because I had no idea I'd ever made anyone feel that way, but I know just what he meant.
I used to listen to a certain person on the radio hoping that person would laugh, because his laugh was so infectious it could make me happy for hours remembering the sound of it. I eagerly anticipate hearing the laughter of my grandchildren as soon as I know they are coming for a visit. Giggling babies make sleepless nights and the constant devotion they demand worth it all. When surfing the TV in search of something to watch, I'm always happy to stop and listen to Comedy Central for a while. Giggling, guffawing, chuckling, side-splitting laughter...I'll take it wherever I can find it.
You can bet I told my friend "thank you...I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me." And I meant it. So, be sure to add a big dose of laughter to your holiday festivities this Christmas. It will do you a world of good.
- Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
- Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
- Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.