Laughter

August 12th, 2011

The least expensive medicine

It puts a smile on your face, and costs nothing.  Children laugh at one or two months.  Primates have also been shown demonstrate laughter.  It can heal anger:  Can you imagine being mad, and laughing at the same time.  It lets you be a child again, and lets you take off your “grown up costume”. Laughter is contagious, and you can catch it whether you want to or not.Laughter is an instant vacation.  It is the shortest distance between two people.

And what is so neat about laughter is that it is fun.  It can be a bonding factor in families.  It can actually heal relationships.  Imagine what a benefit it would be in a marriage if couples could laugh together instead of stressing out together.  And believe it or not, it is “dietetic” in that one burns more calories laughing then when not laughing.

Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, and epinephrine.  It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins.  Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

And so what is my advice?  Take off your straight jacket.  Loosen up.  Respond to humor or create it. Observe children and animals.  Appreciate everyday humor; notice the comical things that happen around you.  Spend time with people with a sense of humor.  Have fun. Life is short. Enjoy yourself.

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