Laughter: A Missing Daily Nutrient

By Rosita Alvarez, Brain and Emotional Stress Repatterning Practitioner

Do humans need the pleasure of laughter? We are one of the few species who belly-laugh loudly. It signals the continuation of connected play. Laughing on a daily basis not only brings relief from pain and tension, it literally signals our brain and body to release healing chemicals and hormones that help us heal and maintain our health and vitality. 

Sarcasm, when translated from the Greek language as sarkazein, means “tear flesh.” This is the model of humor I experienced most painfully in my childhood. I could never trust my dad’s humor to be safe, and it seemed confusing and mean to others or to me. I later married a very funny person who constantly joked, and thankfully, about one out of the nine jokes he made daily was so good I could justify listening to the other eight. He was a joke collector and made, not only our family but also his beloved acupuncture clients, laugh often. They said his humor and their laughter were as much a part of their healing as was the Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I will never forget when my sense of humor was liberated from the effects of parental sarcasm the night he said at dinner, with many friends present, “What do you get when you have a dozen Rositas?” My old childhood fear of sarcasm answered quickly and quietly in my mind all these negative answers… “A pile of mush, a pack of deer staring into the headlights of the car, a messy messy house…” Nobody gave him the right answer and he said, “A beautiful bouquet.”  

I burst into tears as this utter contradiction to my mindset washed away the pain of anticipated shame. Rosita means “little rose” in Spanish. I cried briefly, but hard, and from that time on, my mind could finally imagine funny answers, outcomes, and new perspectives with more ease. It was an energetic block to humor that I had carried and not, as I had believed, that I was missing the “funny gene.”  

Our programs at Modern Holistic Health teach many tools and resources for overcoming the root causes of trauma and poor health. Of course, there is nothing funny about the effects of abuse or abuse itself. But accessing humor, even in the worst of situations, allows us to survive and can lessen what could otherwise be interpreted as traumatic experiences. You may have heard this as told in stories by Holocaust survivors.  

A couple of months ago in one of our group repatterning sessions in our Mind Body Energy program, we discussed integrating our growth to allow quantum leaps of change and reverse old ways of spiraling down in certain situations. A “diffusion” technique of changing perspectives was called for, and I had everyone re-imagine their difficult situation generating the outcome they wanted with humor:

  • ● To see it instead in cartoon form… 
  • ● Or with exaggerated aspects that created humor in the situation… 
  • ● Or to bring in superheroics…
  • ● Or make it like a Charlie Chaplain-style redo with piano music… 

Folks were laughing at the same time as they were facing their issues. The endorphins created by laughing caused the cascade of change in their brains’ organization as their minds created new neurological connections to adapt to the new imagined information. This is an
energy exchange that creates new neurological connections and can lead to lasting change when practiced consistently.

In one-on-one sessions, sometimes we need to use “Laughter repatterning.” We clear the unconscious beliefs and past experiences about enjoying this life nutrient of laughter–of physically bouncing up and down and spasmodically making “ha-ha-ha” sounds. By restoring our free and spontaneous laughter, we open the door to new perspectives on living well.  

Recently, one of my clients, Hannah, was surprised to discover how laughter was a missing piece in her recovery from her early childhood abuse. In her private sessions with me, she gained an awareness that she was not able to access safety in her body. She had found herself much of the time in flight or flight where she was not accessing humor as part of survival. After our session, she said, “I also want to thank you again for our last session. That was huge… as each one is. It is such a big new awareness to look at the piece that humor can play in engaging with life in a joyful, expectant, positive, and fun way. Health and life-giving! You are a miracle worker.” 

Laughter allows us to:

  • ● brighten our energy
  • ● realize the confidence to handle life 
  • ● relax muscle tension 
  • ● stimulate the flow of pleasurable endorphins and hormones – boosting our immune systems and healing abilities
  • ● bring relief from pain 
  • ● access exuberant feelings 
  • ● signal to others to play with us more
  • ● signal a willingness to cooperate among those who laugh

By our inherent design, some people laugh nervously or unconsciously to make others more friendly, but this often does not work.

When we laugh with others we feel a special bond of love with them. 

But if past experiences have robbed you of this joy like they did with Hannah, old negative beliefs about laughing get held within you and often continue to constrict you. Our right brain activity of laughing, which wants to help us experience a different perspective and not be troubled by our problems, goes offline when perceived threats prevail and laughter fades from our existence. Laughter is meant to be a daily snack of joy. 

“I’ll be punished if I laugh.”– That was the “negative laughter belief” I identified for Hannah with the Resonance Repatterning method. We changed her resonance with this and other negative statements to allow her to access humor in the present. We brainstormed scenarios and popped humor into them. She lit up with a profound understanding of how humor has been missing in her realm of empowering her own experience.  

She is now even accessing ideas of humorous ways of asking her friends and loved ones for understanding and help with her fatigue as she begins working in our program on her biological root causes of the loss of energy and fragileness. She built a foundation of strength by clearing out her past traumas over several sessions and gained the courage to test for and tackle any toxins and infections that may be present. 

Can you name what you are afraid of that stops you from belly-laughing? Can you think of someone who you wish you could laugh like? Say out loud: “I enjoy laughing like ______ .“ (name person).

Watch my short Laughing Breath video [Click Here] and participate fully to see how your mind gets tickled when you place your body into the laughing postures and movements without having anything funny present. Notice how alive you feel after playing with me in the video.

Try allowing yourself to laugh for no particular reason whether you are alone or with others. Commit to gathering funnies and laughter as medicine. Put a little joke book in your medicine cabinet. 

I invite you to book a session with me to clear any obstacles in the way of summoning your joy. For when you can access joy, you can liberate your body, mind, and spirit. 

In Joy, 

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