Relationship tensions have been running pretty high over these past few weeks.
I’ve been housebound for four weeks with a broken leg with yet another 4-6 weeks remaining on crutches.
No exercise, just sitting.
Too much time on my hands with too little to do but rest.
How to deal with stress scenarios are running through my mind.
I could sense my emotional edginess building this morning when I heard a strange sound. It seemed to be coming from our gas fireplace. My internal alert system flared up with warnings of gas leak and the immediate need for a call to action.
Since I am pretty much immobile, I pressed hard into getting action from my husband. I wanted him to stop everything, make the appropriate calls for repair, and save us from our house blowing up from a gas leak.
He didn’t jump quickly enough to give me the response I absolutely required, so I grabbed my phone, my one trusted link to the outside world to get things done right.
As I was looking up the phone number for the gas company, the voices in my head were adding more worry into my angst about repair costs, etc.
My husband rechecked for the obvious tell tale signs of a gas leak, trying to offer me reassurance that nothing was wrong with the fireplace.
I wasn’t convinced.
The noise continued and I could feel my gut tightening up further.
As a last resort, my husband looked curiously at the laptop computer sitting next to the fireplace and asked if that could be the source of the sound.
Indeed it was. I stared at the laptop, and then felt that immediate realization of ridiculousness flood over me.
We both burst out laughing.
Piled up tensions releasing from my body with every hilarious uproar.
Just moments earlier I was completely caught up with the dramatic scenario of the house blowing up and my husband running out the door, leaving me stuck helplessly behind.
Amazed at how wonderful we both felt after just laughing, the inquisitive part of me wanted to know more.
Laughter…Can it be this easy to deal with stress?
How could this laughter be so powerful as to cut through the haze of stress-induced stories we tell ourselves?
News to me is that the study of laughter and its psychological and physiological effects has a scientific name, gelotology or laughter therapy.
Not only is laughter a powerful way to deal with stress, there are even more benefits of laughter on the human body.
It has been linked with improving the health of the heart, immune system, and muscles, and it increases tolerance for pain. Ongoing studies also suggest that frequent laughter reduces the likelihood of strokes, and reduces blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. And for those of us who want to contribute to the overall well being of our planet, the accelerated breathing rate which accompanies laughter expels increased amounts of carbon dioxide, which is beneficial for plant life.
I’m hooked on finding new ways to bring humor into my life, especially as a healthy supplement to my current lack of exercise.
Laughter brings more than just physiological benefits to a husband and wife. Laughter helps us cope.
And sometimes, we just need a reminder to take everything — including ourselves — less seriously.