Millar Time

Laughter is humanity’s best medicine

Sadly, as I have been told I am not permitted to keep the office Christmas lights up until March like I had my heart set on, I have been looking for ways to keep my spirits up and emanate a jovial aura to those around me.

Throughout this past week, in speaking with various people, they have voiced to me their glumness of duller moods after the holiday season lit a short blink of a beacon in the winter and pandemic darkness.

Upon reminiscence of happier times, I remembered a summer shopping trip my sister Lala and I took to the metropolis of Toronto. As we site-saw from the top of an open-aired double-decker bus, the sound of laughter overcame our ears. As we disembarked the bus at Dundas Square, we ventured over to see a mass of more than 100 people waving their arms in the air laughing maniacally without any inhibition.

As we questioningly looked at each other with sister mind-reading skills, we didn’t need to vocalize the letters WTH? In public? However as we stood there watching in the sweltering Ontario summer heat, something in the air through the humidity hit us. It was an infection. No, it wasn’t SARS, it wasn’t a cold or flu and definitely wasn’t coronavirus.

We each started to giggle at the sight of the hoard of adults dressed in ties, suits, and high heels prancing like unabashed children in the core of downtown. Our giggles grew into chortled sounding throaty noises, and soon laughter we could no longer contain escaped via our own lungs. We had been infected by a public laughter therapy session. Soon, we were joining in the merry activity with our own arms and legs dancing to the rhythm of happiness.

I am sharing this with you because while we all wait for the COVID vaccine, I believe laughter is still the best medicine for humanity. The human brain does not recognize a fake laugh from a genuine laugh – so just give it try. I promise no one is watching. When you laugh in a stressful situation those happiness endorphins will still be released to lighten your mood and relieve stress. This happens if you are forcing a laugh or genuinely laughing.

Workplaces, classrooms, and families in living rooms can partake of the activity which while forced at first, will soon become a hilarious and joy-filled experience.

Here are some laughter therapy tips to create your own lightened mood.

1) Clap your hands in a rhythm. This will activate acupressure points and engage others around you. (They may think you are bonkers to start with, but just accept this is the process)

2) Do some deep breathing exercises. This will help relax your lungs, increase focus, and lighten the mood.

3) Wave your arms above your head, point to the sky, tilt your chin back, and let your laughter loose. Laugh like that uninhibited child with-out a care in the world. Your laughter should be coming from your heart. (I can personally attest that this one works)

4) You can try imitating someone else’s voice.

5) Swing both your arms in front of your body, chanting ho ho ho, ha ha ha. This will activate both sides of your brain.

If you happen to pass by The Northern View and we are outside dancing, join us, but wear a mask.

Happy laughing.


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dreamfish are hung on the fence at Annunication School in Prince Rupert on April 17 as part of the Stream of Dream eco-education program teaching about local watersheds and salmon habitats. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Stream of Dreams fish swim the fence at Prince Rupert School

Students at Annunciation school learned about watershed protection and salmon habitat

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

BC CDC mapping for the week ending April 4, shows a sharp decrease in COVID-19 cases to 27 in Prince Rupert down 45 from the week prior. (Image: BCCDC)
Sharp decline in Prince Rupert COVID-19 cases

Prince Rupert lab-confirmed cases are down 62.5 per cent in one week

Blair Mirau, Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society CEO, is seen in a hydroponic greenhouse the society purchased in 2020 to promote food stability and local supply. (Photo: supplied)
Three P.R. organizations partner to develop food distribution network

$167,000 grant awarded to GSN, PRDCC and Ecotrust Canada to strengthen food supply chains

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Bandstra Transportation photo)
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read