Laughter as a Divine Gift

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Posted on May 18, 2021

“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.”

I love this quote by Carolyn Birmingham as it gets to the cathartic, almost spiritual experience of deep belly laughter – the type of laughter that is uncontrollable with tears running down your face. I know every one of us has had more than one of these in our lifetime. I dare you to recall one of those deep belly laughs without smiling or letting out a nice chuckle.  

We all know the saying that laughter is the best medicine and there is a ton of medical and scientific research that acknowledges the enormous health benefits that laughter and joy can cause. The benefits range from reduced stress and anxiety to an improved immune system and decreased pain. It is amazing to think that the simple act of laughter can have such a profound effect on our bodies. While I don’t think that anyone would deny the health benefits of laughter – even for simply being a mood booster – there isn’t a lot said or written about the spiritual benefits of laughter.

When you think about it, laughter is for the most part a very human trait. We as humans have the innate ability to create a contagious, cathartic, joyous experience at any given moment. Deep belly laughter – like an ecstatic orgasm – can even cause us to transcend space and time. 

So, I ask the question:  Is laughter simply a spontaneous physical reaction, a unique sound made in response to pleasure as seen in some animals, or is it a gift from the Divine? 

It is probably all of the above but I certainly believe that there is a spiritual component to laughter. We don’t call it having a sense of humor for no reason. The Divine / Universe / God / Goddess (please enter the higher power you believe in) has given us humans a means beyond our five senses to help reduce stress and deal with trying circumstances. Even more fascinating to me is that we were given a means through which we can access one of the highest possible vibrations – the frequency of joy. I, therefore, believe that laughter and our sense of humor are gifts for our enjoyment, healing, and our spiritual transformation.

Spiritual Benefits of Laughter

  • Releases energy - Laughter can be an energetic release, when energy becomes unblocked or is flowing heavily. This can happen during orgasm or Reiki sessions alike. Laughing regularly can also prevent energetic blocks from forming in your energetic body.
  • Connects us to the body – When you laugh, you are in your body and breathing. In other words, you are not stuck in your head. Being connected to your breath and your body also allows alignment with Spirit. 
  • Shifts our perspective – Humor and laughter give our minds a break. When we aren’t stuck in our heads, we are open to new insights and new magical possibilities.

Scientific Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduces stress - Laughter can reduce stress hormone circulating through your body which in turn leads to reducing the stress and anxiety that you feel
  • Boosts the immune system - When you laugh, you eliminate toxins and increase the number of lymphocytes in your blood, which helps protect you from disease.
  • Decreases pain -  Laughing has been found to improve pain tolerance due to a release in endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Regulates blood pressure - Studies have shown that laughter can decrease resting blood pressure by stimulating circulation and increased oxygen intake, reducing the risk for heart disease
  • Improves memory - The increase of oxygen from laughter helps improve brain function, including memory.
  • Works your abs – As you laugh the muscles in your abdomen expand and contract working your abs like a workout
  • Improves moods – Laughter lightens depression and softens anger.
  • Produces a general sense of well-being - People with a positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative

How to Incorporate Laughter Into Your Day

  • Lighten up and take Humor Breaks - Watch a funny reel, read a joke, or watch comedy
  • Give yourself permission to be silly – Commit to acts of silliness and lightheartedness
  • Have fun - Plan to do something fun with someone who makes you laugh or brings out your fun, childlike self  
  • Start the day with a smile – A smile in the morning can set the tone for the rest of the day
  • Learn to laugh at yourself – This is a great place to start to dismantle the self-critical and judgmental part of ourselves; if you can laugh at yourself then you can forgive yourself and if you can forgive yourself, then you can forgive others
  • Smile at someone – Laughter is contagious and infectious and the more you smile at others the more smiles and joyful energy you will receive in return
  • Visualize being happy and joyful – Visualizing happy moments will help you focus on more pleasant thoughts rather than stressful ones  
  • Pray – Ask the Divine to help you lighten up and see the fun in life  

While laughter certainly isn’t the only or best medicine / healing modality, it is one that we all were gifted, we can access at any time and it is free. So, lighten up, and laugh a little today and don’t take life too seriously!

One good belly laugh per day, keeps the doctor away! (Yeah, I made it up, but I think it works 😊)