Welcome to another edition of the Freedom 20/20 Series where I talk about how to find freedom and joy in laughter.
The other day I stopped to “Be ” in the moment. My 4-year old daughter managed to make a ninja costume using layers of clothes, a glow stick for nunchucks, and a Hello Kitty pull-up on her head. She ran across my bedroom floor aiming her glow stick in front of her as she attacked her imaginary opponent. I rolled over in laughter with tears running down my face as she acted out a ninja scene.
This was a moment of healing.
My emotions just prior to that moment, I was “joyfully” pressing through another event-filled day living as a “single mom” of six. Over the past month, my husband has taken on long hours in his role at work leaving little time for the family.
At that moment when I saw my little girl and started laughing hysterically and the whole room lit up. My husband, who was working from home, took a second to glance away from his computer to take in the moment. My older daughter started to laugh and told us of other funny things the little one does before bed.
I felt an immediate release of tension, a sense of peace, a shift to gratitude about my circumstances, and an openness to embrace the joy of the moment that drew me closer to my family.
I want to continue my Living Healthy List Freedom 20/20 Series by focusing on FREEDOM IN LAUGHTER.
Health Benefits of Laughter
What is the funniest movie you have seen? Do you have a friend who always makes you laugh? When you are around things that make you laugh, do you notice you are happier, less stressed, have more energy, and you experience more joy?
Laughter is a natural medicine. Yes, it is true. Best of all, it is free. No pharmacy. No capsules. No side effects (except what happens from laughing so hard).
In addition to it making us feel good laughter has therapeutic benefits, too! Laughter benefits the physical body, mental health, and social connections. Some of the health benefits include:
- Relaxes the whole body
- Boosts the immune system
- Triggers the release of endorphins
- Protects the heart
- Burns calories
- Decreases pain
- Adds JOY (my favorite!) and excitement to life
- Strengthens resilience
- Strengthens relationships
- Helps diffuse conflict
- Can help you forgive sooner (Freedom in Forgiveness)
Ways to incorporate laughter into your daily life
- Live in the present – stop and take in the present moments that warrant a belly laugh. What is around you every day that you have skipped over in the past because you were too busy to stop for a moment to laugh? Stop for a moment and laugh at the silly, funny things you see and hear around you.
- Ditch the drama – instead of flipping on your favorite drama series, switch to a comedy. Play your favorite scene over and over again until you are sick of it. Be a kid again!
- Jot it down – Grab a paper and pen and write down five to 10 of your funniest memories. When you need a reason to laugh, grab your funny notes and start belly laughing.
- Laugh at yourself – cut the cortisol release from stress and replace it with happy hormones. Instead of beating yourself up about something, find a way to laugh about your situation. Find a funny picture that represents how you feel. Even if you have to force yourself to laugh about it at first, keep practicing. Soon, you will be choosing JOY and laughter even in the most difficult times
- Play – As adults, we take life too seriously. We feel like as adults we are not allowed to play. I challenge you to do something that is fun, exciting, and FUNNY!
Ways to Play
- Grab some friends and sing karaoke, make a video about your most embarrassing moments and post it on Facebook for your friends to enjoy,
- Dance in the middle of your living room with your 80’s hairdo and leg warmers. I know you still have them!
- Try reminiscing about funny moments with a friend or family member. I love gathering with my siblings and laughing about the silly things we used to do as kids. Or sharing funny memories with my kids and husband around the dinner table. Be FREE!
Essential Oil Spotlight
I have a special essential oil spotlight for the theme of laughter. My choice is Young Living Lemon Essential Oil!
Yes, that simple. For years, I have watched my clients sport a smile every time I hand them a bottle of lemon to inhale.
Insta-smile. Sniff. Smile. Aahhh. I LOVE it!
Young Living Lemon essential oil is known for its pure, crisp, fresh, bright and joyful clean scent. Inhaling YL Lemon essential oil makes you feel like you are walking through lemon groves gazing upon the bright, vivid yellow fruits upon the trees while inhaling the essence of fresh lemons that surround you.
SEED to SEAL quality assurance
The best part is the aroma does not end at the beginning. The Young Living SEED to SEAL quality assurance cold-pressed process gives you an experience of the full aromatic experience from beginning to end with all the chemical constituents and therapeutic properties intact, unadulterated, and pure.
Studies show that lemon essential oil contains properties that lift the mood, clear the mind, and support the immune system. Lemon essential oil also supports the skin and hair and can be used for non-toxic cleaning in your home. It is important that you refer to safety guidelines before using any essential oils. It can naturally cause photosensitivity and should not be applied to exposed skin prior to sun exposure.
As a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, I use laughter as part of my mindset and motivation sessions to help my clients feel comfortable, to help build stronger relationships with my clients, and to help promote natural healing in the body. Even in the most difficult situations, I work to help my clients find the joy in the trials they are facing.
What will you do to incorporate the healing benefits of laughter into your daily life? Give yourself permission to be silly, laugh deep belly laughs and remember what it feels like to be a kid again. There is FREEDOM in LAUGHTER!
Essential Oil Desk Reference. Life Science Publishing.
Dr. Letticia Callies (a.k.a. Dr. Joy) is on a mission to spread joy around the world. She helps people who are stuck or overwhelmed by helping them get the results they need to live out their joyful purpose. She uses a combination of evidence-based strategies to help you bounce back when you fall, empower and encourage you in your faith, improve your overall wellness, and help you discover more time to do what you love. Her joyful demeanor and compassionate communication help motivate her clients to make positive changes that simply become second nature.
Dr. Callies is the wife of her best friend for over 20 years; she is a mom to four boys and two girls. She is the founder of JOYFull Inspirations, LLC, an author, homeschool educator, worship dancer, and joy-lettering journalist. She enjoys spending time with her family, sampling tea, leading joy-handlettering Bible studies, and creating healthy recipes in the kitchen.