REFLECTIONS ON ‘NOT NECESSARILY NECESSARY’ LAUGHING

laughter1 laughing-8

To laugh is a ‘funny’ thing (excuse the play on words 🙂 )

laughing-dog

I think laughter is part of somebody’s MASTER PLAN for humanity. Today, sitting eating lunch in the Royal Brompton Hospital surrounded by hospital staff, I noticed how people relax and unwind during their lunch break. Eating is a priority of course; but, there was laughter, lots of it. As I sat quietly I noticed four guys at a round table chatting, then suddenly one of them bursts into laughter, his back arched to almost 90 degrees, mouth raised toward the ceiling as if to let it all out and send it to the heavens; the guy opposite him bends over like a crouching porcupine, holding his ribs, shoulders shaking, head bowed, as if the laugh hurts it’s so good. The other two remain upright, perfectly vertical, but looking energised, then after all the body shaking, they relax into some quiet conversation again; the laugh has done its job, whatever that is. So now I’m intrigued and watching them for the next breakout, but in my right ear, suddenly a female laugh. My eyes dart towards the sound and there’s this lady sat with a man, she’s bent completely back, mouth in the air, hair back, eyes to the ceiling, AND, she clapping while she laughs, (have you ever noticed someone clapping while they laugh??? Why on earth???? But who cares anyway) it’s almost a look of madness, but I don’t care, it makes me smile, and feel good inside… now I’m hooked, I continue to look around the staff canteen, and every now and then someone explodes into spontaneous laughter, it’s all over the place.

Dare I make a completely not scientifically proven observation? I think laughing offers people the chance, just for a few moments, to step completely out of their daily social image and be totally free. When you’re having a gut busting laugh it’s almost impossible to be worried about how you look in that moment, you don’t care… nothing is important, you’re in the throes of ecstatic laughter, it’s powerful… and it’s contagious.

Watch out… you might catch Laughter-itis.          

Years ago, I was traveling on the underground at the weekend, it was late at night, and this guy steps onto the tube at one of the stations; but as he’s walking in he’s having fits of completely uncontrollable laughter, he just can’t stop, and the thing is, as he’s having this laugh, he’s also trying to explain to the uneasy fellow travelers, what’s made him laugh, but he can’t stop long enough to put the words together, his sentence is broken up with laughter… so he just carries on laughing and laughing, you know those laughs where it hurts so much you want to stop because your ribs are hurting and your head hurts, but you can’t stop because you’re totally out of control, with tears rolling down your face? That’s how this guy was, rolling all over his seat, rocking back and forth laughing… well after a short time I started to notice other passengers’ shoulders jigging up and down as they began giggling and chuckling, and as he carried on, people also started laughing out loud, I couldn’t help it either, I started to laugh, in fact as I type this, I keep chuckling as I remember it. So there we all were, total strangers, in one half of the tube carriage, laughing and laughing. He got to his stop, stumbled out of the doors and went his way, and people were still laughing and smiling, and none of them knew what they were really laughing at. It didn’t matter; it was a moment of complete happiness and satisfaction. I wonder if some of the people on that tube carriage still tell that story to this day.

What are you laughing at? – Laughing when it is not called for.Man Laughing
Have you ever been with someone, a person you feel very comfortable with, and you make eye contact and just laugh…. For no apparent reason? It might have been a strange facial expression one of you made, or maybe somebody said something that sparked a memory in both of you and as you look at each other you realise, this is hilarious, and you laugh, it’s a silly laugh, childish and irresponsible, but you didn’t care, it made you feel great. (Warning: please use this type of laughter cautiously, you may be chastised or glared at for apparently behaving inappropriately  😀  )

I was on my way home from work the other day, and having just exited the train station, crossing the road I noticed someone out of the corner of my eye trying to get my attention, and as I turned, I looked at her and realised it was one of my neighbours. I pulled the headphones from my ears. She looked at me and while pointing at my headphones she said…“see what I mean?”… We both just started laughing. We had a conversation a couple of weeks ago about being plugged into technology 24/7 and missing what’s around us because of it, and as soon as she pointed at the headphones and said ‘See?’, it sparked my memory and I knew I had been ‘Busted’, lol.

Up to this point, my day had been pretty, how can I put it?, pretty rubbish, and I wasn’t in a good mood; but all of a sudden I’m laughing, as though I had an instant personality change, my Alter Ego came into being, and the miserable Marvin evaporated.

We then stepped into the local Chinese Takeaway so she could get her dinner, the owner calls me by name, ‘Hello Marvin’…. Again, my neighbour looks at me, and starts laughing, and this starts me off again, lol… (I won’t explain why this happened but, use your imagination) We carried on talking and laughing, and as we talked, laughing at nothing in particular, silly things really, my mind stepped back from the conversation and started thinking; ‘here we are sitting here laughing, I don’t know why we’re laughing so much, there’s nothing particularly funny happening, but this feels good, I’m not complaining. Then I returned to fully participating in the conversation.

I noticed a few people looking at us who seemed either puzzled or a little annoyed at us two immature kids giggling like naughty adolescents, hmmmmmm, perhaps our laughing was ‘not necessary appropriate’ to them.  I also noticed a couple of people smiling at us while we were having these ‘silly’ laughs, Obviously they were on our wavelength, and the happiness was ‘infecting’ them, it wasn’t intentional, it was just happening. So, I totally forgot about my miserable day and went home and enjoyed my evening.

Not been laughing enough lately?

Obviously because of various belief systems, where laughter came from is a highly debatable subject, I’m not here to get into that, but I thank whoever came up with this great idea for soothing the soul. I happened to read a bit of information today that shocked me. It stated that children laugh 300 times a day on average, whereas adults laugh on average only 17 times a day. Oh my god, is adulthood so bleak? Are we taking ourselves too seriously? Are we ‘that’ stressed? I don’t know. All I can say is if laughter has such a great effect, then why on earth are adults removing it from the equation of life??????????????????

Wake up people; the irony is, we probably need to laugh even more than kids do because we are no longer blissfully unaware of life’s difficulties. As the saying goes ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’….  🙂

Below is a link to a great article on laughing, with suggestions on how to go about bringing more laughter into your life. Lot’s of resources and links to other interesting articles are made available on this page. Enjoy

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/factshts/hsw-caw-807.pdf

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