When was the last time you had a belly laugh? Have you ever laughed so hard you had to hit someone? Have you ever laughed so hard you actually fell down on the floor? I did, once, in a movie theater, when I saw Putney Swope, years ago, laughing so unrestrainedly I tumbled onto the theater aisle. God, what a wonderful moment.
Robin Williams had a laugh like that. You didn't hear it that often, because he was so busy making other people laugh, but if you go on YouTube and find places where he was with Jonathan Winters, you can hear it. It'll make you laugh, or at least smile. Jennifer Lawrence has a great laugh.
We learn a lot from the way a person laughs. In fact, of all the signals we get from people we don't know that well, their laugh may be the most telling. It's amazing to me how many laughs are mirthless. Those people who can't give themselves away, who laugh moderately, with restraint, without any theater, without any passion and release, are to be wary of, I think.
To let go with a big, uninhibited, raucous belly laugh takes not caring. You are so obviously a delighted mess. So obviously you. Nothing you wear, nothing you've done, nobody you know--nothing can protect you from the Woody Woodpecker, crazy happy noise that comes out of your mouth. I am a passenger on that ship of restraint from time to time, and I so regret it. Because laughing feels so damn great.
Of course, if you want to tap the source of genuine soul-satisfying laughter, if you want to learn how to really laugh again, listen to children. Especially to babies. Yes, babies. Because when you make a baby laugh, the sound is 100% pure undiluted joy. It's better than vitamins.