Scallywag

Happiness is a mystery, like religion, and should never be rationalised.

~ Gilbert K Chesterton ~

Try Laughing

March 24th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 18 secs

Are you laughing enough?

Honestly, what is it with laughing? It has got to be one of the weirdest things we humans do.

Picture, if you will, a group of people sitting together at a meal. Suddenly, amidst the slurping, chewing, and talking, there’s an explosion of cackling, like a hysterical chicken spotting a fox. In the midst of seriousness, laughing seems bizarre.

But it’s much stranger than that. Chortles, chuckles, nervous giggles, sleep apnea-like plosives, and donkey-type braying are merely a handful of examples of what makes laughing distinctive. No other mouth sound is so common yet so strange and unique.

When apes do it, I understand their version of laughing signals danger, not delight. Which would open up some very odd prospects if we did it too. “Darling, you’re going too fast! Ha! Ha! Haaa! We’re going to crash! Ah, hah, hah, hah. You’re killing me”. Or, “Hey there’s an angry mob in the street. [Hysterical laughing]. They’re starting to bust up the place. What a riot!”  It’s ridiculous. Yet, isn’t it the ridiculous that gets us cackling in the first place?

The more you roll it around in your mind, the more curious laughing is. Some silly things will get you falling to the floor laughing your head off. While something equivalent merely puts a frown on your brow. For something so light-hearted, laughter is complicated.

Apparently, in Japan they’ve been running smiling and laughing classes for salarymen for years because they don’t know how to laugh. Yet, I can tell you Aussie kids can’t stop laughing in school classes (well, in my lessons anyway – I think it’s my propeller bow tie…).

When we start laughing something unravels inside our mind (in a delightfully healthy way). It’s the unrealized stress of looking serious. In the act of letting go of our earnestness, we rediscover the greater part of our more pleasant self: that smiling, carefree and joyous person we all too rarely see.

But, like tickling your own feet – laughing can’t be coerced. You need to be in the right frame of mind and, even then, something has to strike you as truly funny.

Thankfully, you can get to laughing with deliberate decision (or at least very close). When you choose to engage in play the way little kids you immediately escape the tension of being so seriously grown up. In that fun and foolishly free way, you find the pleasure of your inner self that so many try to hide.

Maybe it’s the weirdness and idiosyncrasy of laughing that makes us shy. But, seriously, we do well to remember that laughing is healthily good for you. By finding your funny bone, you not only tap into that entirely different side (which our Mr. or Ms. Serious guise doesn’t like to abide) but you feel a greater sense of connection. With hearty laughter comes the freedom of self-expression and the chance to relate at a better level with people right beside you.

Besides which, whatever laughing is or isn’t, there’s something to it that we all intuitively know. It gives us a chance to stop being our age, forget ourselves, and just enjoy life right now. Worth letting your hair down for, don’t you think?

Try Stress Testing Underpants

Funny How Things Look, Isn’t It?

Playful Fun 

Feegs

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