Laughter—it’s cheap and free.

In the last several weeks, the news has brought only stress and concerns. My brain needs a break. Then I started thinking about how laughter can make us feel better.

tweet of baby laughing and dancing to music in a carThe first hint came in a tweet from Jon Gordon of a baby girl dancing to music in utter abandon. The smile on her face, the carefree movement of her body, made me smile. Even without hearing the music, you can’t help but smile.

A good laugh has both short-term and long-term health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter may relieve stress. And our best prescription in times of high stress.

Short-Term Health Benefits

Laughter creates physical changes in the body.

  • Stimulate many organs
  • Activate and relieve your stress respons
  • Soothe tension

Long-Term Effects

Laughter may also help us long-term.

  • Improve your immune system
  • Relieve pain
  • Increase personal satisfaction
  • Improve your mood

My husband watches “Funniest Home Videos” every Sunday evening. We never miss it. Ever! Some of the capers seem more dangerous than funny. Every episode offers more than a few laughs. I love hearing him chuckle and often belly-laugh at the clips. We all feel better when we laugh—alone and together.

I have my own go-to programs like “The Big Bang Theory” and the old “I Love Lucy” episodes. How can you not laugh at Lucy’s antics?

Some of you may have never seen Lucy stomping grapes or working in a factory. Check out these top ten classic moments from the “I Love Lucy” series.

You may have your own favorites. I would love to know what they are. Share in the comments section. We all need an arsenal of laughable moments for now and any day our heart begins to sag.

The 98-year-old Carl Reiner has the best advice at any age.

“Laughter is my first priority. I watch something every night that makes me laugh. I wake up and tickle myself while I’m still in bed. There is no greater pleasure than pointing at something, smiling and laughing about it. I don’t think there is anything more important than being able to laugh. When you can laugh, life is worth living. It keeps me going. It keeps me young.“ —Quoted by Marlene Cimons, “No Joke: Studies Say Laughter Can Improve Your Health”

When you feel the world closing in, take a moment to laugh. You may lighten your heart and the heart of those around you. After all, laughter is contagious—in the best way.

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photo: Sally Wynn from Pixabay