A Belly Laugh: Fuel for Heart and Soul

“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
– Victor Borge

When is the last time you laughed so hard that it hurt? Isn’t a belly laugh shared with a loved one an uplifting experience? A shared joy?

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend with a visit from two of my closest friends, Beth and Mary. As usual, we found ourselves reliving hilarious stories from our rich history together…races we ran, races we didn’t run, birthday cakes with the wrong name, our mystery man named Brad, the list goes on and on…and gets longer each time we get together.

We laughed so hard that we cried, with aching stomach muscles, struggling to catch our breaths. One of us may have even needed to rush to change clothes (it wasn’t ME!) – giving us yet another story to belly laugh at in that moment, and in the future.

It was a weekend filled with joy, and it got me thinking about laughter, relationships and the link between the two.

A quick Google search confirms my suspicions that there are plenty of studies around that confirm the health benefits of laughter…increased endorphins in the brain, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system…There is even a study by Dr. William Fry of Stanford University Medical School that says one minute of laughing is equivalent to ten minutes on a rowing machine – how is that for a cardio workout? Sign me up. I would rather spend 10 minutes laughing than 100 minutes sweating on a rowing machine – or any other cardio workout – any day of the week!

Laughter is not only good for the heart – it is good for the soul. For me, a laugh shared with my friends or family is not just a good substitute for a workout. Laughter is a way for me to foster the relationships that are most important to me. Laughter is a powerful way to connect with others, to share an experience, to create a lasting memory, to not just cope with life – but to enjoy life. Laughter is a way to live in the moment. Laughter awakens all of our senses. Laugher is fuel to me during difficult times. Laughter is energy. Laughter is joy.

To my friends and family in appreciation…thank you for making me laugh and bringing me joy in our relationships.

Laugh on!


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