My Grandma had such great lines for times when she felt there was nothing else to say. She would shake her head and smile. “You just have to laugh.”  Nearly as often, she would muse, “You just have to wonder.” 

Most of us are wondering, but are we laughing?

As children, we laughed endlessly at everything and anything. We were delighted to be on the planet. But as adults, we seem to have lost the easy-going ability to laugh out loud. We wonder but do we laugh?

Especially lately, we wonder at the uncertainties, but we struggle to find anything humorous. For care partners, life right now is a double whammy. 

The daily stress of caregiving alone seems to leave little room for laughter, never mind all the other uncertainties that come with it. Some of us practically run from dawn to dusk, relishing the evening time when the day is quiet. I have heard from many care partners who stay up way too late, sleep-deprived because night hours belong only to them. What if you were able to find some ease at any time of day?

We have all heard the adage, “laughter is the best medicine.” Even though you may agree with the saying, do you laugh? 

When I think of laughter as medicine, I always am reminded of Laughter Yoga. As a traditional yoga teacher, I laugh just to think of this! Dr. Madan Kataria of Mumbai, India, developed Laughter Yoga in 1995. This laughter (or any, for that matter) involves a lot of deep breathing, hence Laughter Yoga.

Laughter Yoga today is used for patients who suffer from MS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, other dementias, and many other illnesses.

But guess what? Laughing does not take special training, nor do we have to be ill to learn to laugh again! The simple act of laughing lowers our stress levels, decreases anxiety or depression, and opens our hearts. Laughing makes us happy and playful.

We don’t have to find a reason to laugh. Just start laughing. Try calling out ho-ho-ha-ha.  Does this sound hard? How about another adage? “Fake it till you make it!” Or how about this one? “Grandma knows best!” 

Thank you, Grandma, for reminding us to laugh and to wonder.

I pride myself on being able to laugh. Call me to laugh together anytime!

 

 

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