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You know when you laugh, I mean really, really belly laugh until you fee like you cant breathe? Well that happened to me the other day, in the middle of Debenhams mens shoe department. My uncontrollable, no restraint 13 year old self well and truly took over! I know things are only funny when you are actually there, but the quick background. Nik was looking for shoes for my brothers wedding, I was duly there to give opinions. Nik put a pair of brogue boots on, and on looking down at them said, “Don’t you think they look a little bit like cowboy boots”, and with that, as if to fully demonstrate his point, started doing his version of a line dance all the way up the shop. Heel tapping, grapevining, basketing, the whole works. Well I dissolved into fits of laughter, much to an elderly couples annoyance at my loud laughing, but the more I tried to stop, the more I laughed. It got to the point where I had tears streaming down my face, I was gasping for breath and having to cross my legs because I thought I was going to pee myself, (the old bladder isn’t what it used to be nowadays). I had to leave the shop as I had totally lost it and was getting evil side-eye from the sales assistant. But, you know what? My soul felt lighter, my spirits were lifted and all stress and worries disappeared for the rest of the day. It got me thinking………
I have let my 13 year old self take over many times, and it has always served me well! I have always felt a lightness of step and a re-charge to my entire being. The saying that laughter is good for your soul, is a million percent true, and when its that unfiltered, let your self go type of laughter, it feeds your soul.
I think we can all be a little restrained, a little polite and non-intrusive when in public, which, in a civilised society, is right. But, when we let ourselves go, become a little raucous, and just bloody enjoy the moment, it takes us straight back to those carefree teenage years when you didn’t care who looked at you laughing your head off with your mates. Its such a nice feeling! Obviously, its far more acceptable to be hysterically laughing and mucking about in a pub, out with your friends etc. But my teenage self seems to take over at unacceptable moments.
Take the time at a friends child’s christening. We were all listening in the pew, Father David was inspiring us all and keen for us to sing the hymns with gusto. The worst hymn was chosen when you have your then, 10 and 12 year old sons with you. All Things bright and Beautiful. If you are familiar with this hymn then you may recall the line that says “The Purple Headed Mountain” Of course, to pre-pubescent boys, thats hilarious. They start laughing, I then start giggling, and before you know it me, my sons and my friend next to me are doubled over trying to stop the certainty that we are going to be struck by lightening when we step outside. I have that terrible thing of having no control once I start laughing. I had to leave the church.
So, how can we keep that carefree attitude that takes us over now and again? I know we have to be responsible and a proper adult most of the time, but I reckon we would all be so much happier if we just let our younger self take us over on a regular basis. Scientists tell us that they have proven that laughter relaxes our whole body, and for around 45 minutes after you stop laughing. It is also proven to boost your immune system, lowers blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. See, its good for your health!
Tuesday night, my youngest son, who is almost 16, had a few of his mates in to have pizza and watch the football. After the match they were all in high spirits, and did the usual teenage thing of banter and mischief. My husband and I were in another room, so gawd knows what was being said, but they suddenly descended into hysterical laughter. All 7 of them were laughing, really laughing, and when my son brought the plates out his eyes were shining, his cheeks beaming and his entire being felt light, carefree. Thats what we should all be looking to recapture as often as we can isn’t it. Us adults let the responsibility of life get the better of us, and we can sometimes be a little, perhaps, serious?
Well, I for one give you my solemn vow, I am gonna let my 13 year old self take over whenever she raises her head. I am going to embrace her and encourage her to laugh it up. Im going to continue to laugh at potatoes shaped liked penises in Tesco, (if anyone saw my Insta-stories recently you will know what Im on about) and I am going to enjoy that uncontrollable laughter whenever it bubbles to the surface, and ignore the looks of disapproval from anyone. In fact, I will throw my head back and laugh some more!
Lets start the movement, I vote laughter!
** Header picture courtesy of stock site Pexels