Can you imagine the stress level of Santa trying to get all those gifts delivered to the right children on time, not to mention the problems he must have with eight reindeer, a sleigh and the weather? So what does he do? He laughs. He Ho, h o, hos as he flies around the planet and his stress level stays low. He understands the great benefits of laughter.
Now and then we have a day full of challenges—a day that too many things go wrong and we certainly don’t feel like “Ho, Ho, Ho.
I had a day like that not long ago.
My computer crashed several times in the afternoon in the middle of a job that had to be done NOW for a customer. I lost data and had to do several things over. Not nice.
FEDEX didn’t pick up the package that HAD to go out on Friday and we had to take it to Kinkos so it could go out for sure. Time wasted over someone else’s glitch.
My cat barfed on the rug by the sink in the kitchen and I had to take the time to clean it up.
The TV stopped working—a cable was loose—no big deal, but it was frustrating.
That’s how the day went. Nothing major—just a lot of irritating little things. My son had the same kind of day and we were both a little edgy by the time evening came.
We were all sitting down catching our breath when my grandson had a gaseous explosion. If you’ve ever been around little boys you know how much absolute fun farts and belches can be. (sorry for the crudeness—it’s just the way it is with them). Jack got the giggles. Then his dad got them. Soon the three of us were sitting there laughing so hard that any remaining tension from the day was gone. Vanished.
We got a renewed burst of energy and finished the day on a high note.
Laughter is so powerful.
Start paying attention to what laughter does for you.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a good bout of laughter will:
- Stimulate your organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension and stomachaches. Laughter can also ease digestion and stimulate circulation, which helps reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
The long-term effects of laughter, again, according to the Mayo Clinic, are to:
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make difficult situations a little bit easier.
So, not only will laughter erase the effects of your daily stress, it will make you healthier. What a great deal! And laughter costs absolutely nothing.
So, what about Santa? We can take a lesson from this jolly old man. Let’s Ho, Ho, Ho all the way to Christmas!