4 Laughs Per Day

When was the last time you laughed? Really laughed. Not a snicker at a silly meme or a polite chuckle at a poorly told joke. A guffaw, with head thrown back.

Maybe you think there isn’t much to laugh at these days. You’d be in good company. But that’s exactly why we need to seek out laughter.

The explosion of sound, the shaking of your body, the tears, the gasping, the sniffling—laughing feels good. It’s healing and leaves us lighter, physically and emotionally. Sometimes we forget because we go so long between good laughs.

At least once a day, I do something zany that makes my husband crack up, which in turn makes me roar. Most of the time, I’m not trying to be funny. It just turns out that way. Last night, the resulting feeling of well-being got me thinking. And that’s when I decided I needed a laugh prescription:

4 laughs per day

When? That’s a personal decision, but for me it would be

  1. Upon waking, to start the day
  2. At about 3 PM when I start to feel stressed and search for a sugary snack
  3. After dinner, before I settle into my evening activities
  4. Just before drifting off to sleep

That last one may have caught you by surprise. Won’t a good laugh before bedtime wake me up? For me, it’s just the opposite. It helps scare away the monsters—all those shoulds, oughts, and worries that lead to insomnia.

It’s an ambitious prescription, especially if your life is busy. But isn’t that when you most need to laugh and remember to stop taking yourself so seriously? Even one good laugh per day would start you on your way to a healthy habit. It’s like exercise.

If you’re wondering where to find material for your daily laugh sessions, there are tons of sources online. But I usually look no further than my relationship. It takes one person acting out of character to make another person laugh. And because laughter is as contagious as a yawn, it ricochets back until both people are grabbing their sides, screaming, “Stop! Stop!”

I’m sure you can think of at least one time in your life when you came upon a couple of people who were laughing so hard they couldn’t speak. Pretty soon, the sight and sound of them had you crying with laughter, too. When it was over and you finally found out what had put them over the edge, it wasn’t even funny. But it didn’t matter.

So, there it is. Four laughs per day. That’s what I’m shooting for. Let me know how it goes for you. Maybe in the process, we’ll learn to laugh at ourselves more.



6 comments on “4 Laughs Per Day

  1. Kathleen on

    Last week during our Mah Jongg game, my sister-in-law said something that made me laugh so hard, my coffee came through my nose.??

  2. Geri on

    Does a good giggle count? Colbert usually gives me that nighttime dose. But your post made me realize how long it’s been since I guffawed.


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