Laughter is the Best Medicine

Posted on July 12th, 2020
By Emmerstine Mackie, Divorce Coach

How many times have you heard this cliché? There is some truth behind it. Divorce can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. I know. I have been there. I had been married for almost thirty-three years when my marriage ended. The majority of my adulthood was spent married. The divorce process can be like an emotional roller coaster. It can be a time of extreme sadness, loneliness, and sometimes depression. The divorce course I took said that the second six to eighteen months are the worst. I found this to be true. Keep in mind, though, that not every divorce recovery will be the same. The key is to seek counseling if you start to feel overwhelmed. Take time to laugh and have fun during this stressful time. Laughter has been said to lower the stress hormones known as cortisol and adrenalin. Stress has the opposite effect on these hormones. Stress can also lead to other illnesses such as high blood pressure which is known as the silent killer. Laughter helps with anxiety, sleep, and depression. Laughter has also been known to boost the immune system. So, go ahead and have a good laugh.

One of the things I did to promote laughter during my divorce recovery was to watch old comedy shows on TV. Some of my favorites were Gomer Pyle, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Green Acres. I watched them every day on the Me-TV channel. They are classics. The theme of Green Acres was that a lawyer married a beautiful, intellectually challenged blonde and moved from New York City to live on a rundown farm. She was a horrible cook. She was going to a meeting on an episode and told her husband she had left a chicken in the oven for dinner later. He couldn’t believe she had cooked. He got excited, jumped up, ran to the kitchen, and opened the oven. To his surprise, a live chicken actually ran out. These are my favorite shows. Feel free to find some of your own, as long as they make you laugh. Another suggestion is to watch funny movies and standup comedians. Ron White is a favorite comedian of mine. One of my favorite CDs of his is entitled “They Call Me Tater Salad”. He is hilarious. If you have a friend that always makes you laugh when you are together, spend time with him or her. I was always known as the funny friend. Spending time with family and friends is probably difficult right now since we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Facetime and Zoom are popular ways to stay connected visually during this time. If all else fails and you are feeling lonely and blue, go to YouTube, play some upbeat music, and just dance. If you aren’t living alone, find a room and close the door. No one can see you. So it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance. Go ahead and sing along too. Laugh and enjoy yourself! You will get a great workout in the process. I remember doing something similar when I broke up with my childhood sweetheart in my early twenties. I was in college. I would come home every day and dance and exercise to Prince’s entire Purple Rain album. I loved Prince so much; it didn’t feel like a workout, and I enjoyed myself. At fifty-nine, I wouldn’t have the energy to do it today! I ended up losing forty pounds before I knew it. I dyed my hair auburn. One day, I went to pick up our daughter from my ex-boyfriend’s house, and his niece was there. After seeing me regularly for almost six years, she didn’t recognize me. I had Prince to thank for my transformation.

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