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Get Your Giggle On

Point to Ponder:

Are you laughing enough?

With "Keeping Things Fun" being last week's journal topic and our spirit-filled focus throughout October, during class we talked a lot about having fun, what it looks like for each of us and whether or not our fun buckets are being filled in each are of our life: marriage, mom, friendships/relationships, career, volunteer, etc. The outcome is that fun comes in a range of ways and can vary with each life season. For some, fun is cooking with our family or enjoying a spa day. For others, fun is going to dinner and enjoying a glass(es) of wine with girlfriends. Regardless of how you are having fun, fun is essential and just like adopting a positive attitude and having a supportive, encouraging and fun group of friends, having fun leads to laughter which enhances our quality of life and improves our health! Check out the facts:

According to Web MD, when we laugh our physiology changes. Like during exercise, we stretch muscles throughout our body (and face), our pulse and blood pressure go up and we breathe faster which sends more oxygen to our tissues. Combining laughter and exercise is a winning combination. (Eureka, that’s iGnite!)

Laughter improves blood flow, lowers blood sugar levels, enhances relaxation, improves sleep, decreases stress, and raises infection-fighting antibodies and therefore our immune response increases. Laughter also decreases stress hormones and triggers the release of endorphines which promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

In addition and according to the Mayo Clinic, laughter soothes tension, stimulates circulation and aids in muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. Laughter also increases personal satisfaction and can make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It helps you connect with others and lessons depressions and anxiety.

While having laughter-producing fun for me comes in a variety of ways, one of my favorites is through pranks. We own a collection of scary masks and we are always pranking one another with them. However, my blue-ribbon prank that I recently shared with a friend that had us both doubled over in tearful laughter with smiling aching cheeks was one that my husband, sister, brother-in-law, and I played on my step-mom and Dad-- fifteen years ago during Thanksgiving dinner. Brace yourself for 7th grade-boy humor! The story goes:

It was Russell, my husband's, first Thanksgiving with our family and I was loaned a fart machine via my mom’s husband, who is also a prankster. At the dinner table sat Russell, who is reserved and always appropriate, myself, my sister and brother-in-law along with my step-mom and dad. As we sat down to eat a delicious spread of food, the preplanned prank began.

Upon taking several bites of food, Russell excused himself from the table where he stayed in the bathroom for ten minutes. My very concerned step-mom inquired by asking me if he was feeling ok? I shrugged it off and said he was fine.

When Russell returned he took a few more bites, stopped eating and began rubbing his head, which was when my brother-in-law sounded off the machine. (This was no basic machine. It was remote control operated, with the sound-maker hidden under Russell’s chair and the hand-held remote-control was being manipulated by my brother-in-law ). Everyone paused, Russell looked down and quietly said, “Excuse me”. My step-mom replied with, “Honey, are you ok?”, while Russell, my sister, brother-in-law and I continued on with a poker face, having conversation and eating. A few more minutes passed and my brother-in-law hit the remote again, but this time the toots were longer and louder. Yet again, Russell looked down and rubbed his head. My step-mom's eyes grew bigger and for fear of embarrassing Russell more than he had already embarrassed himself, my dad walked away from the table, keeping his back turned to us. Attempting to gain his composure, with his whole body shaking, eyes bulging and red-faced, he turned around and said, "Well, welcome to the family!" We all burst into laughter and revealed the prank. It was the most epic family prank ever and my dad is still trying to get us back!

Whether or not the foul gadget is your cup of fun tea, the moral of the story is that laughter has health and life-enhancing magical powers and we need to get our giggle on as much as possible! So, be silly, grab a ghoulish mask, stop at the comical card section at the grocery store, spend time with fun friends or watch a funny movie or t.v. show and lets make laughter a priority in our life!

For some laughter inspiration, check out another epic Thanksgiving prank. I guarantee you'll get a serious giggle on, and pass it along to others so they can get their giggle on as well! Click on the picture to watch the video.


Action Item:

Be silly, grab a ghoulish mask, read the comical cards at the grocery store, spend time with fun friends or watch a funny movie or tv show to ensure that you are having fun and getting plenty of laughter in your life!



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