All About Laughter Posted by Kandle Dart on Apr 19, 2021 in Art, Science, Vocabulary
Feeling sad? Stressed? Depressed? Angry? Frustrated? Try laughter therapy. Laughter is the best medicine! Laughter produces endorphins, the “happy chemical” that helps us relieve stress, anxiety, pain, and makes us feel more relaxed and happier. Some studies have found laughter also fosters higher quality relationships and is good fitness for our hearts.
The Vietnamese have an equivalent proverb to “laugher is the best medicine.” It goes “một nụ cười bằng mười thang thuốc bổ”. The literal translation is “a smile is equal to ten medicinal tonic prescriptions”.
Whether natural or fake, there are many types of laughter, with various sound tones and volume, or with facial expressions only, no sounds at all. There are definitely more than a dozen different words, but I’m only listing some here for your reference.
- Laugh: Cười
- Belly laugh: Cười ha hả (loud hearty laugh, loud unrestrained laugh)
- Giggle: Cười khúc khích (lightly laugh, affected, silly laugh)
- Smirk/snicker: Cười khẩy (half supressed laugh in a condescending way)
- Cachinnate: Cười rộ (laugh loudly, immoderately)
- Sarcastic laugh: Cười mỉa mai
- Horselaugh/Guffaw: Cười hô hố (a loud boisterous laugh)
- Burst out laughing: Phì cười
SONGS ABOUT LAUGHTER
If you are in a bad mood, in pain, and unable to even force yourself to cười (laugh), how about listening to some songs about laughter and sing along with it? Let me share some of my favorite songs that would lift your spirit.
When You’re Smiling is one of my favorite English language classic songs with such a powerful message. Listen… ♬ ♬ ♬
“When you’re smiling…the whole world smiles with you…
When you’re laughing…the sun comes shining through…”
When singing this song, like magic, I smile automatically and instantly feel happiness. Artists who sang this song include Louis Prima, Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, and others. I love all of their versions.
“Hãy Ngước Mặt Nhìn Đời” (Chin up to Life) written by Lê Hựu Hà is the one Vietnamese language song I recommend to lift your spirit. Every version of this song starts with the line “Cười lên đi em ơi” (Let’s laugh my dear). The song says we don’t need this lowly material life filled with disparagement, calculation, hate, and conspiracy. So, let’s laugh to hide your tears and your pain.
The overall lyrics carry some sense of bitterness. However, the melody is upbeat in G major, so it does have a happy vibe, and I like it.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE
Years ago, I was working in a quite stressful environment. One day while carpooling home, seeing my long face, my co-worker asked me to laugh out loud with him. I thought he was crazy. First of all, I was tired, and was in no mood for a joke. Secondly, laughing should come naturally, not by force. I’m not an actress. I can’t act. How could I laugh for no reason after a long stressful day, especially while sitting in traffic? He told me to just laugh with him. I didn’t want to argue, so I forced myself to follow. It didn’t sound right at first. Indeed, it sounded idiotic. Surprisingly, after a short time, I belly laughed uncontrollably. As a result, our drive home was pleasant. I was chit-chatting with him like a bird afterwards. That experiment brought me a positive experience, and I’ve practiced laughing more since then.
Laughter is powerful. It lightens your mood on a dreary day and brings you closer to your friends and family. Like yawning, laughter is pretty contagious. You can spread your laugh and if everyone in the same room does that, you can feel joy floating in the air in no time.
Let’s ring up the sound of happiness by laughing out loud with me. Ready? 3, 2, 1. Hahahahahahahhaaa… 😊😊😊
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