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The Joy of Laughter

Why do we laugh? And why is it so beneficial?   

Joy comes from the laughter of friends. Friends teasing and kidding each other. Old friends laughing as they share stories. New friends laughing as they learn about each other. Friends laughing, smiling, chuckling, even great belly laughs. Uncontrollable, gasping, bent double, tears streaming laughter.

Last week, while sitting in our Chamber of Commerce Leads group, the end of the meeting degenerated into laughter. This group of men and women have been coming together each week for as much as ten or fifteen years. They help each other with business leads, so it is more than just camaraderie. It is a friendship that has grown up from caring for one another. But they know stories and the stories lead to teasing and the teasing to laughter.

The Joye Mobile is particularly conducive to laughter too, even among those who don’t know each other well. I took a group of genealogists down to the Clayton Library two weeks ago. Although some were strangers to the group, I heard the laughter as they shared stories. They also released tension by laughing over the foibles of some of their members. Perhaps the laughter comes from sitting in a circle on the cozy, comfortable cushioned couches of the interior of the van looking at each other.

But laughter comes at many odd times and places as well. Even sweating at the gym. Or laughing with family members. Or over lunch or dinner with friends. Have you noticed how laughter is infectious? It makes others smile and it makes us feel better.

Doctors and psychiatrists will tell us laughter is good for us. It releases endorphins as it eases stress. It lowers blood pressure and decreases tension. It calms our nerves.  Whenever and however it comes we need laughter in our lives.

So do your best to hang around people who laugh a lot. We need to laugh more.    

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