Laughter, the Great Equalizer!

As I think of the term “Great Equalizer,” I am reminded of the TV Series starring Queen Latifah, where she works to assist those who are being targeted and need assistance. She provides a skill that levels the playing field or creates a balance for the client. In the workplace, in churches, and within families there is a thing that creates that level playing field…LAUGHTER.

 No matter where you go on the planet, laughter is common among people even when people do not understand the language. Laughter by definition is an expression or appearance of merriment or amusement. There are various types of laughter which is valuable to understand as we seek to level the playing field among people.

Etiquette Laughter.

 If you are trying to ascend in the workplace, impress an in-law or the First Lady of the church, you will laugh even if the statement is not funny.

Contagious Laughter. As humans, we are made to respond with laughter on hearing laughter itself. One of the best examples is hearing a baby giggle. Now that makes everyone laugh.

Nervous Laughter. We often use laughter as a coping mechanism when we are, in fact anxious. There are times when we need to demonstrate decorum, like during a funeral or giving a presentation on the job. Because the person may feel nervous, the laughter will flow.

Belly Laughter. The belly laugh is considered the most authentic type of laughter and it also may be the most difficult to experience. Ten minutes of a true belly laugh can have an anesthetic effect and can lead to relieving pain.

Silent Laughter. Laughing quietly to yourself can have some of the same benefits as deep breathing. When we work in open office spaces people learn the silent laughter technique so as to not disturb their fellow colleagues.

Stress-Relieving Laughter. Stress is tension in the body and often people muster through it with deep breathing, yoga, or exercise. Much like a Belly Laugh, when you laugh while stressed it releases endorphins that relieve stress.

Now that the different types of laughter have been identified, you must know the Best Kind of Laughter: • Laughing so hard that your laugh becomes silent

 • Feeling like a 6-pack is coming (stomach muscles are worked out)

• Tears in your eyes (laughing until you cry)

As I write this article, I reflect back to one year ago being hospitalized for 28 days with COVID. During my hospital stay, all the nurses stated that they loved coming to my room as I was always pleasant. I believe that my healing was positively impacted by the fact that I laughed daily on purpose. I would do one of three things daily:

1. Listen to my favorite comedians on Pandora and just laugh.

2. Watch funny movies on TV or Netflix.

3. Watch the out-takes from Family Feud with Steve Harvey

The nurses would run into the room and ask me what was so funny because they could hear me laughing from down the hall. I received care from hospital staff from numerous different ethnic groups, yet the “great equalizer” was laughter.

 Laughter is medicine for our souls; we should seek to laugh more as there are benefits to laughter:

PHYSICAL BENEFITS Prevents Heart Disease Decreases Pain Lowers Stress Hormones Boost Immune System Relaxes Muscles

 MENTAL BENEFITS Adds Joy and Excitement to Life Eases Feelings of Anxiety Improves Mood Strengthens Resilience

SOCIAL BENEFITS Strengthens Relationships Attracts Others to Us Enhances Teamwork Promotes Human Bonding

With laughter being the great equalizer among people, seek to laugh more than you complain. The very times that you feel that it is inappropriate to laugh, it is probably the Necessary Time to Laugh as there are benefits.

Dr. Sabrina Jackson, creator of Essential Colors, DEI Expert, Author, and TV Personality is known as the People Expert, as she helps people with people, even if that person is themselves. For more information, visit

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