06/20/2014 08:32 am ET Updated Aug 20, 2014

The Power of a Good Laugh

A nun once told me that angels fly because they take life lightly. Well, I suspect, if there are angels flying it's because they laugh a lot. And, that's because I believe that laughter is an expression of the soul dancing.

Everyone enjoys a good laugh. It creates space to set aside those things in the mind that bother us. This gives us the distance that we need between a situation and ourselves so we can respond more effectively. Therefore, laughter is not only a valuable tool for lifting us above our burdens, it's also a great way to awaken us to new possibilities that make life more fascinating.

Living in a world of laughter opens one's life to a world of joy. Joy is a divine quality that is inherently creative and productive. And, when we're productive we're doing positive things with our lives. Isn't that reason enough for laughing more?

Laughter is a cleansing agent for the body as well as the mind. It offers an experience of effervescent wholeness that is transforming, and yet so solid and real.

Just as everybody loves a lover, everybody loves a laugher. Nothing is more contagious than uncontrollable laughter, especially in the sweetness of friendship where we feel safe to let go. A good laugh causes a good mood, which offers a perfect environment for healthy relationships. Thus, we find another benefit for laughing.

Never dismiss the power of a good laugh. The deliberate pursuit of laughter can change your life dramatically. Sometimes you may have to go against the grain and take the road less traveled in order to lighten up and see what's comical about a situation. But when you do this, and learn to laugh at things not usually considered funny, you are able to transcend ideology that stops you from being free.

Here are four common experiences where it helps to learn to laugh so that you may lighten up and offer a positive contribution to the moment:

(1) Learn to laugh at how ridiculous you can be when you're caught in foolish dramatics. Notice when your life has become a soap opera, and laugh at the fact that you're ensnared in a melodramatic act. A good laugh helps you to relax, which puts an end to the act.

(2) Learn to laugh at yourself when you're feeling awkward and out of place. Laughing will help you take yourself less seriously. A unique quality comes to the personality of the person who throws himself into a mood of gaiety. That personality is spontaneous and innovative, which opens the mind to ideas and behavior that is delightful and attractive. What follows is the right and perfect responses, no matter what the conditions may be.

(3) Learn to open your heart to laughter when things seem bleak. When you give yourself to laughter, you become more flexible. This enables you to see things differently, and the fresh view inspires you come up with solutions that make life more pleasurable.

(4) Learn to laugh at the insanity of whining and complaining. You don't stop laughing because you feel down -- you feel down because you start whining. The only way to turn that frown upside down is to turn your attitude around. A laugh is a smile busting wide open. Learn to laugh as often as you blink, and you'll find yourself smiling as long as you think.

I enjoyed writing this article; it made me laugh. How about you?

Rob White is an International Bestselling author, storyteller & philosopher. Rob founded The Ordinary Guru Project, which is awarding $9,000 in cash prizes to encourage others to share their own ordinary guru tales.