October 4, 2023

Laughing Your Way to a New Approach

By Megan Jones

The funny thing about humor is that we can all participate in it, no matter our age, circumstance, location or personality – and it is completely free.

We all have that one person in our lives who, despite any circumstances, is able to bring us joy. It could be a child, co-worker, friend, relative, spouse or anyone we’ve spent time with. During a busy week – caring for our families, cleaning, homework, meal planning, work and more – it is not always easy to find time to laugh, much less to see anything humorous about being so busy.

One Saturday, I made a list of things that I wanted to accomplish. My 18-month-old daughter followed me into the laundry room and, in her curious frame of mind, explored everything in the room until she found a tennis ball. She tossed it at me while I separated clothes and she laughed when it hit my ankle and rolled back to her.

She laughed loudly, heartily and without reservation, and did it over again. She laughed again. Her tiny burst of energy was so contagious. It made me laugh and completely t stopped worrying about my list and the stress that came with it. I thought about how that moment would pass and it would never come again. While the clothes washed, we took the ball outside with us, and we made a new game while I cleaned tree limbs from the driveway—another task on my list.

This one encounter changed my entire perspective. My frame of mind for that day was already negative due to my exhaustion and stress over finishing a list of tasks that I thought needed to be done in a particular way. My 18-month-old little girl showed me that anything can be exciting, even washing clothes or cleaning the yard. She showed me that anything can be funny, even when it seems trivial on the surface. She also showed me that laughter is contagious and the more you expose yourself to it, the more you are freeing someone around you to that exposure as well.

Not only can laughter make you feel better on the outside and how you view the world around you, but it can also help you sleep better, strengthen your immune system, work out your diaphragm, reduce stress, strengthen your heart and even burn some calories!

Sometimes, it’s hard to carve out time in your day to enjoy a few moments, especially when you need to be productive. However, I encourage you to find some laughter in every day and share it often.