I spent the weekend with my family: my sister, her husband, and her two boys. My sister and I grew up in a family of non-stop punsters, and we regularly crack each other up on the phone or over email. So it was good to spend 72 hours together because we laughed a lot.
I know some of the scientific studies that show that laughter is good for our bodies, releases important anti-stress chemicals. I didn't feel any immediate pain-relieving effect but I certainly had my mood lifted by being here.
I also think that laughter is a part of intimacy. That when you share a lot of belly laughs with someone, you get each other in a different way. You feel seen and heard and share something important. I often make my friends laugh. I think some of them find me quite hilarious but they don't make me laugh. They don't share that same sense of humor or know how to do word play in the same way. I do like making them laugh, but I want to find some friends who make me laugh, who can dialog in that way.
My sister is in a terribly stressful job right now and she took most of the weekend off to be together with all of us. I know the laughter did her good, whether it was playing endless games of canasta or watching Comedy Inc. or sitting out on the terrace riffing on anything and everything that we could make puns about. I know it did me good.