Laugh Often!

7/25/2013 1:16:26 PM


“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

Milton Berle



For many years, Reader’s Digest had a humor section called, “Laughter: the Best Medicine.” Whether intentional or not, there was wisdom in that title because studies have found that laughter actually has therapeutic value. Laughter can boost your immune system, improve blood pressure, stimulate your vital organs, and reduce pain! And those are just the physical benefits!


        Laughter also:

                     1.     Relieves stress

                     2.     Promotes relaxation

                     3.     Soothes tension

                     4.     Make it easier to cope with difficult situations

                     5.     Improves your mood

                     6.     Decreases depression and anxiety

                     7.     Increases happiness

                     8.     Attracts other people to you

                     9.     Strengthens relationships

                     10. Helps you live longer


              Wow, with those kinds of side effects, who wouldn’t want a good dose of laughter?


             In my life, no one mastered the art of laughter and lightheartedness like my mom. She would howl and cackle, at times to the point of my utter embarrassment! But, it was no secret that she was everyone’s favorite mom. Her likeability factor was simply off the charts. My mom was a blast to be around, and I was blessed to have her 24-7. People who laugh often make themselves—and others—feel good.


            Whether you’re sick, melancholy, stressed out, or as healthy as an ox, it’s a great idea to surround your life with humor. While you’re at it, learn to laugh at yourself by not taking yourself so seriously. Being able to admit that you goofed, and permitting yourself to laugh about it, is an incredible gift to give yourself.


            Here’s an idea: Anytime something annoying and frustrating occurs, try to stop yourself from reacting negatively and instead look for the humor in the situation. There is almost always something you can laugh or smile at.  Sure, you can be irritated—angry, even—that you slopped your spaghetti on your shirt at dinner or that you stepped in a dog deposit in your new shoes. But what does it accomplish other than putting you and everyone around you in a sour mood?


            Comedian Bill Cosby has said, “Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” I heartily agree! Be the one to see the lighter side of a sticky situation, and to get a smile out of yourself and the people around you.  You’ll all end up feeling better—not just about the circumstances, but about life in general.  Laughter really is the best medicine!

How often do you laugh? What makes you laugh? What are ways you’ve learned to cultivate your sense of humor?  Please share your ideas and experiences with us; we’d love to hear from you.  And share us with your friends; we’re always growing our online community!