When Was the Last Time You Laughed?

bulldog wearing pink organdy collar and sporting an 'attitude'When was the last time you laughed—especially uncontrollably? If you’re somewhere in the grieving process, you probably think this is an unusual question, maybe even inappropriate. Keep reading!

Laughter is a “healing” escape. Research has confirmed the powerful medicinal effects of laughter. It truly is a miracle drug! And how many ‘drugs’ today have no negative side effects? Laughter produces only positive effects—on both the mind and the body! Laughter even helps to fight disease.

Have you noticed in your own experience that positive and negative responses cannot occupy the same space? If you’re giggling, can you stay mad or upset? How many times have you been angry with someone, and they kept teasing you until you smiled or laughed? When you couldn’t keep from smiling (no matter how hard you tried) didn’t your mood change?

I understand that at times during grief, especially early on, you won’t be able to laugh. And please know that I am not disrespecting or disregarding the grieving process. It’s crucial. However, everyone needs breathing space from grief. Otherwise, it’s too overwhelming.

During grief, a natural tendency is to allow laughter to make you feel guilty or disrespectful. Please fight this urge! Laughing will raise your spirits, give you a respite from grieving, and help to keep your hope alive!

If your loss was the death of a loved one, think about what that person would want for you. I know my husband would choose laughter for me, just as I would choose the same for him! Yes, I grieved. I missed him more than I can describe, but I knew I couldn’t stay in that place. I had to keep moving toward life.

Even if laughing seems unnatural, try it. Rent a funny movie, read a humorous book, watch a TV program that makes you laugh, go out with a friend who is funny, play with your pet—whatever works for you!

Laugh on purpose, and see if your mood doesn’t lift. Hopefully, laughing will become second-nature again!

Laughter is a muscle, so exercise it…

© 2012 Judy Brizendine

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About Judy

"Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift." Judy writes about grief and loss in a realistic, practical way - to help, inspire, encourage, and educate any who face loss in their lives. A fellow-traveler's approach to grief ...

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4 Responses to “When Was the Last Time You Laughed?”

  1. Allen Klein says:

    Hi Judy,
    Interested in writing a book review for your blog/website? If so, I can send a PDF of Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying: Embracing Life After Loss. Email me at: humor@allenklein.com

    • admin says:

      Dearest Marty,

      You have the kindest way of writing that always makes me feel wrapped in love
      and especially treasured! Thank you so much for your warm and encouraging words.
      I value my connection with you more than you can possibly know, and I have such
      respect for you and your work. When I hear such positive words from you, I know
      the message will be meaningful for others, too.

      Thank you again …

      Hugs,
      Judy

  2. Alessandra says:

    I can definitely relate to this, I always try to convince myself there is something and/or someone out there to trust, and that there is hope in the world. As you say it doesn’t take away the pain, but it sure helps to relieve the suffering (something I believe we choose to do).

    • admin says:

      So true, Alessandra, we all need hope every day to keep going–particularly when we’re suffering. As you said, it doesn’t take away the pain, but hope gives us the strength to keep going in spite of the pain. You’re right, hope is a choice we make. And we definitely do have someone out there to trust, and He will never fail us.
      God bless you,
      Judy