Squeeze Play: our incredible nanny, Jordan, with my little prankster
It’s All Relative: belly laughs with my dad and brother
Tickle Fest: The little guy giggling with Daddy
I think laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. And it’s one of my favorite things to do, too! I was the good girl in school – good grades, good behavior, good manners. The only times I ever got in trouble were when I’d have a laugh attack. It didn’t take much to make me giggle – and once I got started, I could not stop. I vividly remember standing by the lockers outside Miss Medchill’s 4th grade class, trying to compose myself, and every time I’d open the door to return to class, I’d bust out laughing again.
Truth be told, I have the same “problem” today. Some of my favorite recent memories are of uncontrollable, unending laughter. There have been multiple radio interviews during which my co-hosts and I have been rolling on the floor, trying to catch our breath while the person on the phone is (thankfully!) jabbering away and not even aware we can’t get a grip! I’ve had too many falls to count in my life, which always end in laughter (ok, the one in the daycare parking lot in front of all the other parents ended in tears, but the rest were pretty damn funny). And my dad is an expert at getting me to laugh at the most inappropriate times – speeches, church services, funerals, you name it. All he has to do is look at me in a certain way at just the right moment and he knows I won’t be able to keep it together. An I love him and hate him for it all at the same time! But, truthfully, I tend to think laughter at the worst possible moments makes them some of the best possible moments.
In The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck (who wins my vote for funniest life coach on the planet), she practically pleads with her readers to laugh more. The typical child, she writes, giggles 400 times a day while we stodgy grown-ups only manage to let out only 15 little laughs. What’s holding us back!? You’ think we’ want to laugh constantly, given what we now know: that laughter really is the best medicine – shown in study after study to help people get healthy and stay healthy. I love that something so fun and freeing can be so good for us. Martha encourages people to study their own laughter: count how many times you laugh in a day, notice what tickles your funny bone, pay attention to whom in your life makes you laugh.
My giggle gurus – the people who I can always count on to crack me up – include my brother, my hubby, my dad, my kids, my friend Colleen, Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O’Brien, Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell, Zach Galifianakis, Anne Lamott, Jennifer Weiner and Amy Poehler (please check out her Smart Girls at the Party!!). So who’s on your laughter list? And how will you up your number of laughs-per-day? Let me know and let’s share a laugh or two (or 400)!