Laughter – a part of human behavior regulated by the brain, helping humans clarify their intentions in social interaction and providing an emotional context to conversations. Laughter is used as a signal for being part of a group — it signals acceptance and positive interactions with others. Laughter is sometimes seen as contagious, and the laughter of one person can itself provoke laughter from others as a positive feedback. This may account in part for the popularity of laugh tracks in situation comedy television shows.
The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body, is called gelotology. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laughter)
This weekend, my husband’s best friend and his wife were back in our province looking for a house. They moved out West a few years ago and are now returning home. My husband couldn’t be happier. He has missed his friend so much. So, we decided to leave the kids with their grandparents for the night and joined our friends at their hotel.
About 2 minutes into the reunion the boys were acting like the teenagers they were when they met. Instantly, the jokes started and the four of us were in stitches from laughing so hard. After a wonderful meal we went back in the hotel room. Again, within minutes, the laughing continued and at one point, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.
(Recall that I am pregnant, so my abdominal wall muscles are now all but non-existent, and laughing becomes more difficult when there is nothing to support your core.)
As I was falling asleep, the peacefulness that washed over me was sublime. There was a time, honestly, when laughing like that with friends was difficult. Sometimes friends just connect, and sometimes that connection fades. My husband’s friend’s wife said last night that sometimes friends are like old clothes in your closet. Sometimes you have to clear out the old clothes that don’t fit you anymore in order to make room for the new ones.
As I welcome this new little life growing inside of me next fall, I want him or her to know nothing but the sound of laughter in our home. I’ve realized last night that won’t be a problem anymore. The people in my life make me laugh every day; I am reminded everyday how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to have these people in my life. Seeing my husband with his best friend again just reinforced it for me.
Laughter really is the best medicine and the foundation for healthy relationships.
I hope that anyone reading this laughs with their friends and partners today.