Laugh to Keep from Crying.

I love telling folks about Every Monday Matters. For those of us who crank out content for a living, having resources for truly good content is gold. I love the idea of having a shared focus, even for a brief moment, with zillions of other people. And they often provide ideas for simple acts of kindness and general better-world making.

EMM came to my attention through our friends, Bret and Rachel Wells. Apropos of this post, Bret is one of the laugh-out-loud funniest people I’ve ever known. I seem to recall that they had begun using EMM’s content with their church after one of the mass school shootings a few years ago. The message that “you matter” was a powerful response to the lost souls who got their hands on weapons and destroyed lives.

One of the mass school shootings.

It’s horrifying that I can’t even remember which one. This becomes part of my introduction to Every Monday Matters.

And here we are. On another Monday. After another shooting.

This one hit literally close to home. Santa Fe, Texas is only about 15 miles from my hometown, Texas City. Throughout the day on Friday, I thought of friends and family who might have teenagers there. My stepsister, old high school friends, a cousin.

Oh, yes, I have thoughts and commentary on gun control (for it), God in schools (always there – doesn’t need an invitation), mental health (always underfunded), doors (huh?), video games (ugh) and all the rest.

But I return to Bret and Rachel’s idea that folks need to know that they matter. We need to KNOW, really KNOW, that we matter. What does that even look like? What does it feel like? It’s hard to know, but perhaps one of the ways we know is when we are laughing with others who care about us. Or with whom we share a love for good humor, or just a silly joke.

It’s laughter that breaks through any mood and catches us by surprise. Laughter can literally make us spit a drink out of our nose! We can laugh through tears. Sometimes we can’t hold back a laugh even in completely inappropriate sad situations. Ever get the giggles and just can’t stop?

Laughter is powerful!

So, it’s ok to laugh even after such a tragedy. Not only is it ok, EMM reminds us that laughter is healing – to our mind, body and spirit.

We have all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” It is one of the truisms we have always embraced and believed, usually without taking it too literally. However, science has proven that laughter truly is a medicine. Laughter reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts T cells, increases endorphin levels, burns calories, and improves general well-being. How many medicine bottles or pharmaceutical commercials list benefits like these on their products? Not many. This week, try some medicine that’s really good for you, and LAUGH LIKE YOU MEAN IT. Find time to laugh so hard that it hurts. You know, the kind of laughter where it feels like you just did 50 sit-ups, and you have to push your cheeks in with your hands because they are so sore. Remember the things that have made you laugh for years and bring more of them back into your life. Try going to a comedy night, playing a game with friends, or watching a classic comedy flick. And, don’t be afraid to discover new things that tickle that funny bone of yours. Whatever makes you laugh, do it again and again… and again. Let’s bring more humor and laughter back into our lives—because it is good for us, and because it is a ton of fun. Laughing matters.

Go on. It’s ok. Laugh like you mean it.

Laugh like you matter.

Here are some professionals trying to keep it together though this sketch. Warning: slightly offensive. And don’t be drinking anything!

 

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