Belly-laughing & Self-betterment

Alicia BessetteFrom year to year, my resolutions don’t seem to change much. In general, they’re a collective vow to take advantage of the time I’ve been givenhowever much of it remains.

This year my resolutions came early. One November morning I found myself making a list of things I would like to start doing, toward the goal of self-betterment. Because the better I conduct myself, the more positively I affect the world around me.

Among those things: at least one belly-laugh per day. While I do laugh a fair amount on any given day, it’s usually a chuckle, or a giggle, or a sort of breathless squeal. Those are all great. But the belly-laughwhere you can’t help but throw your head back and just give into ithas therapeutic, cathartic qualities. When I belly-laugh, I feel different afterwards. My head feels clearer, and my body lighter.

For belly-laughs, I turn to many R-rated materials! The milder of those materials include the writing of David Sedaris and the “What Up With That” skits on recent episodes of Saturday Night Live.

This is rated PG; the penguins kill me. And of course I have a couple funny friends who can make me belly-laugh simply by raising their eyebrows a certain way.

What, or who, makes you belly-laugh?

And, what are your new year’s resolutions?

Happy New Year, everybody!

~Alicia Bessette

14 Replies to “Belly-laughing & Self-betterment”

  1. Hi Alicia,
    you are so right, a belly-laugh can cheer you up a lot.
    I think I’ll add this to my new year’s resolutions which are always much too general. Maybe we should change the old saying to: One belly-laugh a day keeps the doctor away.
    Now, what makes me belly-laugh? Most of all to see my grandchildren grow up, watch their clumsy movements and to find so many similarities to my daughter and son in their behaviour.
    Hope to see them all very often throughout the coming year.
    Best wishes for 2010!!

  2. I’m a belly laugher. Once a guy told me I laugh too loud. Mind you, this wasn’t in some quiet place where I was turning heads or anything. He (and I honestly can’t remember who this specifically was, only that it was a guy) told me it was a problem.


  3. One of the many things that brings me laughter is stand-up comedy. Since there are no comedy clubs here (ah, this whole place is a comedy club) I have discovered that I can find some wonderful stuff on YouTube. Some of my favorites are Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Dave Chappelle. There are also some great clips from the old Carol Burnett show on YouTube.
    I have also gotten some great laughs from Matt’s use of humor in his writing. Who knew omelets were funny?.
    Here’s to plenty of laughs in 2010!

  4. i agree that R-rated materials are often the best, but not everyone shares my twisted sense of humor (fortunately, my wife does). I think this is very good advice.

    last night laura and I re-watched an episode of Supernatural that had us both laughing hysterically. It involved a wishing well that actually granted wishes and a little girl who wanted her teddy bear to be real. but all he did was drink, look at porn magazines, and watch terrible things on the news. I’ll refrain from giving away the best part, but needless to say, there’s still some great TV out there.

  5. My belly-laughs come from real life where either I — or someone within my range of vision and hearing — is caught up in a situation where all you can do is laugh! Also love clever one-liners.

  6. Last night my husband was lugging a heavy TV all hunched over and I told him, “Don’t hurt yourself, Quasimodo” and he started laughing and said, “Don’t make me laugh while I’m carrying stuff” and I laughed and it was great. This kind of thing happens with regularity at my house, I’m happy to say.

    Also, my kids make me laugh like this all the time. Kids are hysterical.

  7. Kids always provide the best belly-laughs, but when I need some immediate comic relief, my son and I snuggle up and watch recorded episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Even if we have them memorized, we still think they’re hysterical!

  8. Omelets can be funny! I feel my work is always best when readers are laughing, so thanks, Scott. And sometimes when life is really good, I laugh so hard that I cry and hyperventilate. (Al loves this.) Those moments are pure catharses. But here is the best sound in the world: Alicia laughing while reading my rough drafts. When I hear her laughing in the other room, especially when she doesn’t know I am listening, that is when I know I have something. My resolution…or goal…for 2010: be kind to myself while writing…and to laugh more at the whole mad process.

  9. Hopefully you all will be practicing for Global Belly Laugh Day, January 24 with a daily smile and a laugh. January 24, 2010 is the fifth celebration of the great gift of laughter. The celebration of the great gift of laughter is playful, easy and fun. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. (local time) smile, throw your arms in the air and laugh out loud. Join the Belly Laugh ‘Bounce Round the World.
    Try smiling and laughing every time you are stopped at a red light. Each day choose a word smile and laugh when you say or hear the word.
    Your laughter is contagious.
    Thank you for letting us catch it.
    With a smile and a belly laugh,
    Elaine Helle

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