Most of my life is trying to make my readers (aka you guys) laugh, but have you ever thought about what makes me laugh? I mean, I smile to myself when I write my posts and cute things my kids say make me giggle all the time, but it’s rare that I’m rolling on the floor in one of those fits of laughter when you can barely catch your breath.
As part of my participation in Aetna’s Mindful 30, they are giving me daily tips of how to be more mindful in my life, which they say helps release stress.
Today’s tip is all about laughing.
“Life is all about noticing the little things and finding the joy in them. Why? Because you’re present in your body when you laugh. And laughing releases your natural pain killing endorphins, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones and boosts immune function.”
Sounds good to me.
For the past week, I have been paying attention to what makes me laugh and revisiting or retelling those moments to make me laugh again. Now, it’s important to note that what might be funny in the moment, may not be nearly as funny in the retelling (or at least to the people I am telling it to), but I tried not to let that stop me.
I also realized that sometimes the things that make you laugh the hardest are the things you are not supposed to laugh about at all.
For instance, Mazzy, for all her poise and beauty, can be somewhat of a klutz. She also has a bad case of ants in the pants. Very often when you think she is sitting in a chair, she will suddenly fall off the side onto the ground. Or when she is walking through our living room, a room she has walked through a billion times, she will veer unexpectedly left and crash right into a wall.
Mazzy doesn’t have any real balance issues that I can tell. Just that she is usually thinking about things other than her limbs. Or that sometimes her legs move as a completely separate entity from her body.
We assume she tripped over her own foot while standing still.
Case in point, about a week ago, we were selling Girl Scout Cookies in our building. We had sold a bunch of boxes to various neighbors and all was going fine. But then I guess boredom set in and antsiness took over.
While we were standing in the doorway at the home of an elderly couple who I had never seen before, Mazzy gave her spiel and I started making small talk as the woman took out her wallet.
Suddenly, there was a large bang followed by an “OWWWWWWW!!!!” coming from the floor behind me. I turned around to find Mazzy sprawled out on her back on the ground, leaflet and collection money scattered around her. Mind you, we were not moving and there was absolutely nothing in the hallway to trip her up. It was just Mazzy falling like Mazzy does because her feet crossed before her brain caught up with them.
I was not concerned but the whole thing looked so dramatic to the couple that the woman yelled, “OH MY GOD!!!!!” like you would if someone had cracked their head open and needed to be rushed to the hospital. They must have thought she was having a sudden seizure or something because who just falls over backwards in the middle of selling Girl Scout Cookies? My first instinct was to laugh just because of the drama of it all but after a strange look from the older gentlemen, I stifled my smile, said she was just tired and collected our money before scurrying back to our apartment.
A few days later at dinner with friends, the topic of klutziness came up and I retold the story. Halfway through, I started laughing and just about lost it when I realized how horrible the fall must have looked to our neighbors and how I must have seemed like the worst mother ever for my unconcerned and very delayed reaction. I could barely finish the story because I was laughing so hard. Our friends started laughing too because laughter like that is contagious and they have kids too and totally get the impulse to laugh at your child’s minor misfortunes sometimes.
So, we all shared a good laugh and yes, it felt like an amazing endorphin release.
Sorry, Mazzy for laughing at your expense but I’ll take my comic relief where I can get it!
I’m not the only one who has laughed when their kid fell, right?
This post was sponsored by Aetna, who believes health is about the body and the mind. Stress can affect emotional and physical health, and reducing stress can boost wellbeing. As part of their #Mindful30 challenge, the views and opinions expressed in my posts on the topic of mindfulness are my own, not Aetna’s. To learn more about mindfulness, visit aetnamindfulness.com.