Laughter is some of the best medicine

Healthy Living


By Carl Hendrickson, For the Call

I told my physical therapist that I had broken my arm in two places. She advised me to stay away from those two places.

Humorous? I hope so, because humor plays an essential role in our overall health. Laughter has many physical and psychological benefits. This month is National Humor Month. 

In 1976, humorist and author Larry Wilde established the month of April as National Humor Month to share the therapeutic benefits of humor. Humor is an inexpensive medicine. 

Laughing helps to reduce pain and relieve stress. Laughter produces endorphins, hormones that naturally provide pain relief. Also, when we laugh, we cannot simultaneously focus on the negative. Humorous interludes give us a break from worry. 

Laughing helps to increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. Research has shown that laughter may prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Humor helps to improve memory retention. We have a better recollection of humorous situations. You probably will remember my joke at the beginning of this article a lot longer than you will remember many of the benefits of humor.

Laughing can boost our immunity and make us more resistant to disease. Perhaps the secret to longevity is laughter. 

As we age, we find it more difficult to sleep. Laughter and humor tend to improve our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Of course, some people don’t have the gift of humor and they tend to put us to sleep instead of entertaining us. 

Laughter tends to make us happy. We don’t laugh because we are happy. We are happy because we laugh.

Along with eating fruits and vegetables and getting sufficient sleep, laughing is a wonderful way to enhance health. I invite each reader to find humor in life and laugh his or her way to a healthier sense of wellness.