This week Erin Robinson Hall is sharing from her experience, giving us all permission to laugh. In these oh-so-challenging days we need sometimes need to give ourselves and each other a permission slip. If we can do the small things — laugh, cry, sing, go outside, go for a walk, read a book, take a nap — then we renew our energy for the big things we are called to be and do.
Enjoy our conversation with lots of laughter and reasons we need to laugh for our health and well-being.
Sometimes, you just need to laugh
My four little goofballs give us plenty to laugh about daily. And I happen to be married to a hilarious guy who keeps us laughing. Finding things that are funny is not a problem. The question is, will I allow myself to just . . . laugh?
The past two years have brought remarkable stress for many families like mine. Navigating Covid safety, pandemic parenting, virtual schooling for four young children. Learning what trauma-informed parenting means for our children from foster care, and toggling between various therapies. Getting children back into school, ministry stress, and a job change for my spouse. It’s been a doozy.
At some point, as I tried out the wisdom that says listen to your body – notice where you feel stress in your body – I began to pay attention to the tension in my jaw. I recognized the tightness I felt in my head. I heard the sharpness in my voice that had not been there before. We used to laugh off so many little things. It seemed like we forgot how to do that.
Even Pretending to Laugh Can Do the Trick
One week, the play therapist for one of my children was teaching some calming strategies. We got a huge case of the giggles when she had my child and I lay on the floor on our backs and just . . . laugh. Even pretending to laugh does the trick, it seems. Once we got started, we could feel the calming. With those good brain chemicals doing their thing, I began to think about how to do this more intentionally. How could we seek to hold things loosely? How could we look for moments when a laugh could replace a correction or complaint?
My husband and I decided to be more deliberate with finding a lightness to things. If we could diffuse a grouchy situation before it went to full tantrum? That is worth a silly face or a potty joke. Laugh at the ridiculous circumstances instead of weep? Maybe that’s what they mean by laugh until you cry.
If we could find the giggles underneath the anger? Such a difference in the way we process the experience. A minister friend, Scott Dickison, reminded me recently, “The writers of scripture knew as well as you or I that the closest thing to tears is laughter. Humor, as much as tenderness, opens us up to truth and goodness and even the divine.”
Serious matters are still present. Yet, there is a serenity and an openness that happens when you give yourself permission to laugh.
I am #givingmyselfpermission to be open, to make space for goodness, and to laugh.
Tell us on Twitter what is keeping you laughing
What is bringing some smiles and joy into your life right now? How are you giving yourself permission to laugh? pic.twitter.com/qRmb9H6xxW
— Three Minute Ministry Mentor (@3MinuteMin) January 30, 2022
Then pick up a set of cards for your friends. Just $22 in 2022. For 10 premium cards and envelopes. Spread some joy!