Weekend fix for the soul: Laugh out loud

  • Kamalrukh Khan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 19, 2015 11:32 IST

Laughter is the sound of happiness and joy. It is not just about a reaction to jokes. Rather, it is a form of communication- a universal language understood by all.

When it comes to relieving stress, giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor orders. There is strong evidence that laughter can actually improve health and fight disease. It is also scientifically proved that we are thirty times more likely to laugh at something when we are with other people. It makes us feel better. It is the greatest cure of all.


When it comes to relieving stress, giggles and guffaws are just what the doctor orders (Photo: Shutterstock)

Life is just so extraordinary in those moments when you are laughing so hard that you can barely breathe and you can actually feel your six pack abs coming out. These moments of deep unadulterated laughter are divine in the sense that it cleanses your mood and sets your mind on a positive track. A day without laughter is truly a day wasted. Those who can laugh often are truly blessed.

Laughter is the measure of not just the health of people but also relationships. Being able to laugh in our relationships adds to them, a completely different and important dimension. Milton Berle once said that "laughter is an instant vacation". If we are able to remember that in times of arguments, it can help interrupt the power struggle. We can literally 'get away' from the stress and drama of all the tension that the argument might create.

Relationships can be made more balanced, joyful and energetic with a dash of laughter. Mutual laughter and play are an essential component of strong and healthy relationships. It adds that extra zing in any relationship and is really contagious- the sound of loud roaring laughter just primes your brain to smile and join in the fun. Laughter is also the measure of a person's character. As Goethe said, "By nothing do men show their character more than by the things they laugh at."

The best way to get in touch with your funny side is to practice with the experts - babies and young children. They are the real authorities on laughter. They are happy and laugh for no reason. A child's laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world (unless it's 3 am and you are home alone and there's no baby…!.).


A child's laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world, it is actually kind of meditative (Photo: Shutterstock)

Babies teach us that laughter is our birthright -innate and inborn. Laughing with my children, doing something silly, feels so balanced. It is actually kind of meditative. When they laugh, no matter what mood I may be in, a smile just contagiously catches on, which takes no time to convert into loud peals of laughter. It just opens and loosens me up. It is such a relief to laugh. I love to laugh and I love to be surrounded by people who make me laugh. A person's ability to laugh at one's self indicates a certain sense of ease and comfort - a certain sense of maturity, flexibility and resilience that indicates stability, which is a very attractive quality to have.

However, care must be taken to make sure that humour should not be used to cover up other emotions as it creates mistrust and confusion in relationships.

Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously. When we laugh, we are reminded to be a bit more playful and count our blessings. It is the closest thing to being in touch with the grace of the universe. A whole lot of things are taking place when we laugh- inner healing, happiness, joy, peace, freedom.

As Paulo Coelho very aptly says, "Life is short -kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive easily".

(Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based clinical hypnotherapist and wellness coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list.)

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