When’s the last time you laughed out loud? Really laughed out loud? Not the overused and passive ‘lol’. When’s the last time you laughed loudly, a maniacal laugh that makes it all the way to your belly and back out again to the world around you? It’s infectious and highly contagious. All of a sudden, anyone around you is also laughing loudly and 99% of the time has no idea why you’re laughing, let alone, why they’re laughing with you!

My grandson, Landon and I have had some of the best laughs together. As a vibrant three year old, living life large and in charge, he reminds me often to laugh loudly! Laughter comes quicker and more frequently for children. They are known to laugh 60 times more frequently than adults. How is that we as adults give up laughing? What are we losing out on?

Laughter is a natural part of our behavior bringing clarity through our interaction with others adding an emotional framework to our conversations. A natural longing for us as humans is to belong. Laughter gives a sense of belonging, affirmation and shared experiences. Laughter is contagious. Laughter is infectious. Laughter invites others to share in the joy.

Why is it that as we become so serious that we give up engaging in laughter? Are we so concerned with what others are thinking? Have we given away our power to others, circumstances and things that we’ve lost the art of laughter? Where is the joy? How much fun are you making sure you’re having – regardless of where you find yourself? Laughter is an audible expression or appearance of excitement, an inward feeling of joy.

Several weeks ago in the car on the way to church, I broke out laughing. Not even sure what I was laughing about, it continued. My husband, Jeff began laughing along with my daughter, Elizabeth who was laughing almost as hard as me by that time. The laughter went on for a few minutes, subsided as we caught our breath and then took off again, extreme laughing loudly. The momentum in the car was palpable, changing the ho hum, here we go drive, to an energized and joyful environment.

That kind of laughter brings change, giving permission to release the tension, stressors and binding. It’s even been said that laughing is as beneficial as exercising. It takes very little to laugh and brings greater value! Have you ever regretted laughing? Except when inappropriate and well, that’s embarrassing and then everyone’s laughing…together! The benefit of laughing loudly!

Back in 2008, Jeff and I were at the top of South Mountain, overlooking the north part of the Valley of the Sun. As we were discussing the opportunities for us in Phoenix, I began laughing. It was a laughter with the magnitude of a head thrown back laughter; a belly laugh that shook my core. This time together of laughter brought a new engagement and richness to our relationship.

Laughter provides a rich environment for cohesiveness in relationship. It can change perspective quickly. When was the last time you laughed loudly? What’s stopping you from laughing loudly right now? If only I could hear you now…

Laugh loudly. Laugh often.

Your brilliance matters!