When you see the image above, what happens to your face? This person is caught up in something funny. What is your observation about his laughter? It’s contagious! When I see him, I immediately find the corners of my mouth gently smiling. Did you catch the bug? Did something about you smile or lighten in some way?
When someone belly laughs, I get caught up in their joy and I find myself either joining in on the belly laugh, or at the very least it causes my face to smile, and in turn, my heart to smile. Is it possible, then, that when we laugh, we bring laughter to other hearts? I think so. What’s your observation about laughter?
Try it — Imagine me laughing uncontrollably, face turning red, maybe joy seeps out in the form of a tear, I can hardly catch my breath I’m laughing so hard. I grab the cheeks on my face because they ache from a good hard laugh! Someone turns their head to figure out what all the laugh is about. They want in on the secret!
Quick — What just happened to you? Did you giggle? Did you chortle? Maybe you snorted. Don’t lie – let it out. It’s okay.
Laughter is like a salve for the soul. When I’m grumpy, and I allow myself to engage in laughter, I notice my grumpiness fades away, and my heart feels lighter. Is it possible when I laugh out loud, someone in the periphery lightens up somehow?
What about those times when grief or pain of some sort consumes your current emotional state? Someone around you laughs. What is your reaction when you observe someone else’s laughter? Perhaps you’ve said to yourself, “Nothing is funny right now.” Or, maybe, for an instant you allow yourself to sneak in a smile or a giggle. Cracking the door open, even if for a brief moment, and allowing yourself a quick moment of joy calms you from whatever drama you are experiencing at the moment.
Spend some time today with laughter. What do you notice about yourself when you observe laughter happening around you? Did you only hear it? Or, did you see someone giggle or roar with laughter? What is your observation about laughter?