There are a handful of people in my life who can make me laugh so hard that I CAN NOT get my breath and one of them is my brother, Scotty.
He has an unbelievable sense of humor. I’m not telling tales out of school when I say that hands down he does the best imitation of our mother and the fact that he usually does it in front of her makes it even funnier. Not to worry. Our Mom thinks he is funny too and she always laughs at his skits, especially the ones featuring her! My brother can sometimes have a very dry way of expressing something that everyone else in the room may be thinking but wouldn’t dare verbalize. His delivery is definitely on point!
My brother and I and our four other siblings were brought up with the idea that if you can’t laugh at yourself, then you are really in a bad place. Through the years, we have learned that it is better to take yourself lightly and tell a joke on yourself before someone else makes it cutting rather than funny. But sometimes, to the despair of the numerous outlaws in our family, my siblings and I can take something that we think is hysterical and run it right into the ground until no one can stand it anymore.
Besides the people I treasure who make me laugh, there are other things I do to get myself out of a funk. Some of the things include going on YouTube and watching Saturday Night Live clips, grabbing my well worn copy of Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen — a totally absurd and nutty book that always makes me laugh out loud — and reading the pages I have turned down, or I reach out to some of the other people I know who will crack me up about something ridiculous that has happened to them.
Laughter is as important as breathing.
As Dr. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and author of Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccuping and Beyond, said, “When we laugh, we’re in a happy place. That’s always a good thing.”
Laughing when you find yourself in the midst of everyday misery or a sudden personal crisis can release anxiety and tension. You may not be in the mood to find humor while in a stressful situation but that’s usually when you discover there is a thin line between laughing and crying. You have tears in your eyes from laughing about something but then in the next instance you can find yourself crying. Either way, it’s a healthy way of working out your conflicting emotions, which can then leave you feeling stronger and ready to face the world again.
I know there are a few places where I am always irreverent and laughing and I was curious about places where other people find they are always laughing so I did another informal survey with different people than the ones I talked to about places where people feel comfortable crying. Here are the top 5 great places where people find themselves laughing:
— Movies: Maybe it’s because you feel anonymous in the dark, but most people said the movies right away for a public laughing place. Only the people you are with can tell what you’re laughing at and hopefully most of the other people in the theater are laughing at the same things you are.
— School: No matter what grade you are in or what age you are, school is an endless place for laughs. The teachers, the other kids you go to school with and always the parents who volunteer at your school lend themselves to exaggeration and repetition of comments and mannerisms. You never know what is going to happen at school and that’s why students rely on humor to get them through the stressful times.
— Family Gatherings: When you get to see that cousin you haven’t seen for a number of years and you get to reminiscing with a few more cousins, the stories begin to swell and with it the family jokes.
— The Mall: Giggling and general gross behavior happens at the mall which is very funny to a certain age group. This is not a place where I would find myself laughing a lot but other people mentioned it as a funny place when you are hanging out with your friends.
— Karaoke: Usually you have had a few drinks before you grab the microphone and pretend you are a Grammy-award winning singer so right away you have a pretty funny situation. Karaoke usually happens in bars or clubs and most of the people are feeling no pain or are up for a good time so humor is pretty easy to find. Karaoke is about crowd participation and if you pick the right song you can have A LOT of fun taking your singing act to a new hysterical place where everyone just has a good time.