Laughter: Universal. Body and Mind. Restorative. Miraculous.
Laughter is easy to find when our children or simply ingenuous people are around us. Yet too often we skip through days on end without even a chuckle, while busy making plans for next time or some other time in which to let loose and have fun. This week I decided to stop right in the here and now and research the benefits of laughter because something that feels as good and as wonderful as a big belly guffaw, well, must have some spectacular effects, right? Here is what I discovered…
Helpguide.org states: “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.”
Psychology Today wrote: “Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. And there’s lots of evidence that laughter does lots of good things for us.It reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort. It reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and nondiabetics alike. It improves your job performance, especially if your work depends on creativity and solving complex problems. Its role in intimate relationships is vastly underestimated and it really is the glue of good marriages. It synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so that they are emotionally attuned.”
TheHappySelf.com: “People who incorporate humor and playfulness into their relationships are able to drop some of their inhibitions and defensiveness. This allows them to enjoy more spontaneity and a deeper emotional connection. When laughter and humor are used to defuse conflict, negative emotions like resentment and anger don’t get a chance to build up. In fact, laughter and a shared sense of humor are nothing less than essential for strong and healthy relationships.”
“Can a laugh every day keep the heart attack away? Maybe so.” The University of Maryland Medical Center web page will tell you exactly how this is possible.
Get it? Medical research PROVES we need laughter to stay healthy! And, I will add, we need laughter to stay happy… All aspects of humor have been a part of our culture since the first storytellers sat by the fire to entertain us… Think Chaucer and the satire and irony of the Canterbury Tales. Conjure the mishaps of the four young Athenian lovers in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fast forward to the Vaudeville antics of Charlie Chaplin, the silent screen star who brought physical comedy to theaters around the world. The careers that followed, from the Marx Brothers to Lucille Ball, filled our TV rooms with hours of slapstick. Sitcoms continue to thrive, with Modern Family and 30 Rock winning countless Emmy’s; we collectively cheer all the foolish and outrageous behavior the characters on these shows provide.
So, as we enter August, a time of summer vacation for most of the world, do what you need to do to stay healthy and happy by incorporating laughter into your daily routine. For starters, listen more attentively to those goofy jokes of your brother-in-law, read at least one comic strip in the newspaper, spend an afternoon playing dress-up with your favorite niece, and tune in to one of the many reruns of Seinfield: and while you’re doing any of these suggestions Laugh Out Loud! Apparently, your whole life, body, mind and soul will be a whole lot better if you do!
Here are three jokes to get you started on your LOL regime:
What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta!
Why shouldn’t you play poker in the jungle? Too many cheetahs!
What do you call a blind dinosaur? A Doyouthinkhesaurus!