Here I am just recently flying a kite on the beach and laughing. Having fun and laughing on vacation is not too hard to do for most of us. But at times finding our inner jester can be difficult. With April fools day upon us I felt this topic would make a great article, enjoy!

The court Jester was a universal character across the globe in med-evil times. He often would be an actor, juggler, musician, or simply someone whose antics were found amusing by a nobleman. A Jester’s job was to evoke laughter and joy into a dark stressful world. Sounds appropriate today as well, wouldn’t you agree? In light of April Fools day I want to celebrate the inner jester in all of us.

There are many benefits to laughing from an emotional and a physical stand point. In the December issue of Nature’s Pathways Joan Ek reported on a provocative form of exercise called “Laughing Yoga”. She named several benefits to this practice, some of which are increasing breath support, messaging of the inner organs, and boosting the immune system.  Laughing is a serious matter when there is a new form of science (psychoneuroimmunology) that researches how the brain and behavior affect the immune system. There have been studies that demonstrate that the two hemispheres of the brain correlate together when humor is being processed.  The hormone endorphin is released in states of joy, happiness and laughter that aid in warding off pain and increasing pleasurable affects in the body. Laughing, like its counter part crying, can be an excellent release to pent-up emotion.

Just Google the word joy, or laughter and see how amazed you will be with your results. I learned that 2541 songs have the word ‘laughing’ in them. I found poems, operas, paintings, and even spiritual icons related to laughing. To look up the word joy in book titles and you can find hundreds, the joy of…..cooking, gardening, stats, sex…. We know this is a current trend when it is confirmed not only by science and society but in spiritual practices. I found this photo and caption by Edward Mills on one such site, where he comments: “Who made the rule that spirituality and fun and joy and laughter and lightness don’t mix? The Dalai Lama also seems to exude a lightness in the midst of his profound presence. You often see him smiling or grinning. And sometimes it sure looks like a pretty mischievous grin if you ask me.” I think you could easily see the Dalai Lama’s inner jester showing in many photo and it seems that he is very proud of that fact.

Instead of the media’s version of what is funny, through stand up comedian routines, cartoons and radio broad casts, whose comedy typically is at the expense of someone else. Find a way to engage in a pure form of jest and laughter. Listen to what this research study found; that children before pre-school age laugh over 300 times a day. How many times a day do you think you laugh? Try counting it out for 3 days and then average it to see. If you are like most adults it will be around 15 times. What a difference as we reach adulthood and our level of pure joy and happiness. As adults we build up worries, responsibilities and criticisms that seem to hold down our laughter meter. One way to become more happy and joyful is to practice a regular dose of laughter. Tap into that youthful innocence.

I suggest as we celebrate April Fools day that we celebrate our inner Jester, not just one day but every day. Try these tips:

  • Don’t take yourself too seriously; laugh at your mistakes and even at your reflection.
  • Spread your laughter to others, getting that contagious laughing going spreads a lot of joy.
  • Start a pay-it-forward joke line with friends or colleagues.
  • Be child-like with spontaneous silly songs or dance moves.
  • Watch you joy grow day to day!

Teresa Van Lanen is a Creative Empowerment Coach who conducts presentations, seminars, workshops, teleclasses and other events that help people reconnect with their creative spirit and to move into more joy in their life.  Visit Teresa @ www.makingartoflife.com for a free quiz to gauge where your creative energy lies and for more information on her upcoming free teleclasses: April7th, “Using humor and laughter to open you inner-spirit”. Beginning April 6th I will be hosting a 6 week group course over the phone called “Creative Minds”. Join me as we explore chapters of “The Artist’s Way”. To register for any of these events, visit her web-site @ www.makingartoflife.com.

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