Have you ever laughed so hard that you were crying, short of breath and your stomach muscles actually hurt?! It is one of my favorite things to do. I wish I could do it every day; that is one of my goals. I notice that I laugh that hard when I feel relaxed. I laugh that hard when I'm with friends. I laugh that hard when I am talking about something I am really interested in.
There are certain people with whom I laugh unabashedly. My friend Jo is one of those people. It seems that I start laughing at something silly or small as part of our conversation. I start laughing; I get on a roll and I can't stop. I just keep laughing and laughing and laughing. Jo is laughing too and the more she laughs the more I laugh. The next thing I know my eyes are watering and tears are falling from my face and I'm still laughing. Now I'm blinded by my own tears and still laughing. The final straw is my stomach muscles start hurting and I'm gasping for breath; my lungs take over and cause me to take deep signs. If Jo and I look at each other we might start laughing all over again.
The most amazing thing about these outbursts are that whenever I try to convey the story of what set us off in the first place no one else ever thinks it is funny. I think love, friendship, and timing are all part of the laughter.
Find something this holiday season that brings you happiness and makes you laugh. If you are having a difficult day or series of days scan your mind for a memory that makes you laugh or brings a smile to your face. Take a moment and feel the appreciation for something that makes you happy now or in the past. And maybe, laugh a bit!