Go on – have a good cry!

Really I mean it. Nothing like a good old cry – the sort of cry that leaves you with your eyes swollen and your nosy runny! Apparently it is really good for you. So good in fact that there are even special tours in Japan that teach you rui-katsu which literally means tear-seeking. This is a new kind of wellness trend that might prove to be a bit uncomfortable for some people. But once you see everyone else around you crying then you might feel a bit more at ease in joining in. Mental health experts say it is very beneficial for people so forget about that stiff upper lip and just let it all go.

Now when I read this I had to stifle a giggle because I thought of all my travel agent friends who have been to hell and back over the last 9 months. All that time they spent being hopeful and optimistic. It seems that they would have been so much better if they had completely broken down and had a good sob right there and then at their desk (or at their kitchen table if they were working from home like most)!

But we don’t do that! We travel people are way too tough for that. Here’s an alternative – they say that a good belly laugh is excellent therapy. No really it’s true – this is what the Mayo Clinic says –

“A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.”

Look at that! Amazing. Maybe you could combine laughter and tears on one of those tours. I don’t think that would go down very well though, would it? Might get you expelled from the tour.

But laughter does something even more important, according to the Mayo Clinic – Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.

Wow – so having a good laugh every day could protect us against COVID by strengthening our immune system. Sort of the same way as the vitamin D and zinc that we are all taking. Did you know you could go to classes for this? There is even a thing called Laughter Yoga – mind you anybody seeing me trying to get into one of the more difficult positions will have no problem here.

So I can totally see how laughter yoga could be good for you. Maybe this should be a new thing for my office when everyone is allowed to come back. I will get them all lined up in the morning for a session of laughter yoga. Just imagine how healthy they will be. I don’t anticipate any kick back from any of my staff about this. I am sure they will be very eager to try it out.

Now don’t you feel better?


By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


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