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Cliche as it might sound, laughter really is the best medicine -- and I can certainly vouch for that because I've had some experience with this recently. During a pretty stressful week in my life, I was lucky enough to receive quite a few doses of laughter. Last week was a hard week. One of the hardest I've had in awhile. There was stress. There was change. But you know what else was there? Laughter. As I was struggling to get through the week, one of the few things that pushed me through and pushed me forward was laughing.

Laughing can seem like a minor thing, something we do without really thinking much about it. We all do it from time to time (some more than others!) and we've been doing it since we were infants. It's something that we were rewarded for when we were tiny babies. Just think about how often people try to make babies laugh and how clearly pleased they appear once the giggle erupts from that tiny little mouth. We were encouraged to laugh and we received positive responses when we did so.

As we grew older, we realized that there are different types of laughter and different occasions when laughter is appropriate (one of which, I've learned, is not in the front row of a church). As we age, the meaning of laughter changes. It grows deeper and richer and has many more levels than it did when we were infants. As adults, we no longer have people cooing around us, trying to make us laugh, but sometimes, when we're really feeling down, there are people in our lives who can bring us happiness by making us laugh.

For me, laughter is one of the most positive things I can experience. I don't often think about it, but when I do, I realize that I really love to laugh. It's such a great feeling to experience that bubbling of infectious giggles, to look at someone else and know that s/he is experiencing that same thing. It's fantastic to have one of those laugh-out-loud moments when I'm reading a book or to hear someone issue a sassy reply that sends...
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