Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh...
~ W.H. Auden
In last week’s blog, I wrote about spending time in Las Vegas and watching a certain gambler go full-tilt...
This week I wanted to share another Las Vegas story, this one with a slightly different perspective.
To set the stage properly for those who didn’t get a chance to read last week’s blog, I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago to attend the big automotive exhibitions, SEMA and AAPEX.
Each day, I found myself doing "booth duty" while each night was spent dining at fine restaurants with clients and vendors.
Just after the close of the show on Thursday, my brother Jason and I met up with our friends John, Rob, and Kevin plus their friend Todd at a local pub to have a drink before dinner.
The six of us were fairly tired from the long week that had preceded us but we had planned this outing for months and a much anticipated dinner was awaiting us at one of the finest restaurants in Las Vegas.
As we took a moment to relax with a stiff drink after a long day, we began to slowly power down our invisible shields, those innate mechanisms that control our bodies and minds when participating in an environment where we spend the entire day trying to beg strangers to view our wares.
The six people sitting at the table at the end of the day weren’t vendors or customers as much as we were friends as we shared stories of the week and caught up on each other’s lives during the six months since we had all seen each other last.
After drinks, it was time to head to dinner, meeting yet another group of friends growing our dinner party to 12.
While at dinner, we continued to enjoy each other’s company while sharing stories of adventures and misfortunes among ourselves.
After a scrumptious meal, vintage wine, and a decadent dessert, it was time to head off to our respective hotels.
As our "gang of six" strolled down the strip, it was suggested that we stop at a local watering hole for a nightcap staving off any possibility of arriving at our hotel with time to further our work day.
After a quick search, we found ourselves on a private patio at the Wynn resort overlooking a lagoon featuring a different water and light show every 30 minutes.
We ordered drinks and continued telling each other stories, jokes, and random observations. We laughed, and laughed some more.
Our contagious laughter soon attracted the attention of others on the patio who began to join in on our fun. The energy of the group continued to grow as our group grew. After a short while, the wait staff was joining in the frivolity surrounding the table.
After four water and light shows the hour approached midnight and the outdoor patio was growing too cold to continue (at least for the California boys).
As Jason and I walked back to our hotel, I mentioned that my face and torso hurt from all of the laughter experienced that evening and he agreed.
The events of that evening just reminded me of the power of laughter to heal and rejuvenate the body and soul.
Several studies have shown that a good dose of laughter promotes good health in several different ways:
- Laughter stimulates the brain to release "pleasure" chemicals - such as endorphins, giving a person a sense of well-being and reducing muscle tension.
- Laughter reduces blood pressure by reducing the stress hormones in our bodies. This in turn opens the body’s blood vessels and capillaries allowing for better blood flow in the body.
- Laughter causes the respiratory system to process higher levels of O2 (oxygen molecules) in the blood providing more energy to the body.
- Laughter promotes higher T-cell counts in the body’s immune system allowing the body to fight off germs and diseases including cancerous cells
The result of laughter is lower stress, better blood flow, increased levels of oxygen in the blood, a stronger immune system and a better overall feeling of well-being...
As I discovered myself, an evening of laughter also helps to improve our abdominal muscles as our stomachs expand and contract. Adding a big dose of laughter to our daily routine just might help us on our way to creating that six-pack without needlessly going to the gym to perform crunches.
Laughter makes us feel good about ourselves and the world around us. It gives us a feeling of euphoria and allows us to maintain a positive outlook and experience a sense of joy and gratitude.
It helps us to love our neighbors, pay it forward, help others in need, and give back more than we take.
Beyond the health benefits that laughter brings, there are also the social benefits of being happy.
People want to be around others who are positive and happy, not around those who are constantly complaining about this or that (although I am still mystified as to why anyone actually listens to talk radio or the nightly news, where complaining is the norm).
Laughter is often contagious.
I remember vividly, walking into a room and seeing my parents laughing hysterically at something they were watching on TV. Instinctively, I began laughing alongside them, not even knowing what I was laughing about.
And once the laughter begins, everything after that seems funny and humorous to a point where it becomes inane and stupid. Ask any stand-up comic if they want to be the first or the last comic of the evening and their response is unanimous (being last of course).
The reason for this is that laughter makes us forget... we forget about being stuck in traffic... or the customer that cancelled their order... or the phone call we got telling us our child was just suspended from school.
Laughter puts us in the moment and allows us the ability to find humor in the absurdity we sometimes call life.
Sometimes I wonder if the world wouldn’t be a better place if we spent as much time learning to laugh rather than trying to segregate ourselves from one another.
Laughter is truly what’s right in the world.
As we move into the holiday season, we should all try to find some humor to share as our gift to each of us...
Thank you very much for your support of OptiFuse where we believe that life is truly a laughing matter.
Jim Kalb President
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.optifuse.com
Blog - www.optifuse.blogspot.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse