Many years ago, I went to see Billy Connolly for the first time. I laughed so much that my sides hurt – what a treat! We rarely laugh that much. In fact, we often take life so seriously that we hardly laugh at all.

Having new kittens is reminding me of the joy of laughter. I’ve just sat and laughed at them chasing imaginary prey under the mat in the living room, and then galloping stiff-legged across the floor sideways. They don’t get self-conscious or worry about being silly – they just have fun and bring amusement to me in the process.

Laughter is a release of tension in our bodies: it frees up our energy and it helps us to regain perspective. When we laugh, everything feels better and we feel lighter.

Did you see the movie, “Patch Adams’ where Robin Williams played the doctor who used laughter to help his patients to heal? It was based on a true story, and there is plenty of research to show that laughter is genuinely health-giving. And the great thing about laughter is that it doesn’t usually cost anything to get it – you just need to remember what helps you to laugh.

So where are your sources of laughter?

  • Are there comedians who make you laugh? Watch them on utube or tv or dvd.
  • Are there movies/tv programmes that make you laugh? Have your own copy to use when you need to laugh.
  • Do the antics of animals or small children make you laugh? Seek them out.
  • Do you have friends that you always have a laugh with? See them more often.
  • Do you have memories of times when funny things happened? Re-tell those stories.

Laughter should be an everyday part of our lives, not just for high days and holidays. We may all have a different sense of humour, but we have in common the need to laugh fully and often.

Give yourself every opportunity you can to laugh – it’s good for you..

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