April 22

Laughter Can Be Great Medicine

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

As I was searching the Internet earlier this week, I was reminded that April is National Humor Month. The purpose is to remind us that laughter can be great medicine, benefiting our bodies, minds, and quality of life.

I’ll be sure to remind my family when I inflict on them another “Bad Dad Joke.” They have grown so accustomed to my attempts at what is funny, at least in my mind, that I was presented with a tee-shirt that reads “Dad Jokes Are How Eye Roll.” I wear it proudly.

Here are some of the ways we benefit from laughter as cited by sources such as the Mayo Clinic:

Laughter increases our intake of oxygen, which helps our heart, lungs, and muscles.

Laughter improves the function of our blood vessels and improves blood flow.

Laughter boosts our resistance to disease by building immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.

Laughter burns calories.

Laughter helps relieve pain as it causes our body to produce its own natural pain killers.

Laughter can help relieve stress and ease feelings of anxiety.

Laughter has social benefits, as it can help form social bonds, strengthen relationships, and reduce conflict.

Laughter benefits our cognitive health, including our short-term memory.

Laughter can improve our mood and lift our spirits.

Laughter can help us live longer and healthier lives.

One of the tips mentioned in regard to laughter is to reminisce about the things that make you laugh.

What comes to my mind are things such as the slap stick and double entendre of the Marx Brothers and Benny Hill; the skits performed by the cast of Monty Python and by the Not Ready for Prime Time Players who comprised the original cast of Saturday Night Live; and the ventriloquism and stand-up comedy of Jeff Dunham (or DUN HAM according to his character Peanut).

From the standpoint of movies, my all-time favorite by far is the dark comedy “Harold and Maude”, which premiered in 1971, when I was in college. Cat Stevens wrote and performed all of the music, which includes the songs “Morning Has Broken,” “Wild World,” and “Miles from Nowhere.” The movie contrasts Harold, a young and rich teenager who is obsessed with death, with Maude, who is played by Ruth Gordon. Maude is an eccentric septuagenarian who has a love for life.

What makes you laugh?

Another tip is to take time each day to tell a joke or funny story.

If you are looking for ideas, here are links to three websites that can bring you laughs:

From humormonth.com: 30 Ways to Tickle Your Funny Bone and Add Humor to Your Life

http://www.humormonth.com/assets/30-ways-in-30-days-2017.pdf

From Reader’s Digest: 101 Short Jokes Anyone Can Remember

https://www.rd.com/list/short-jokes/

From Best Life: 57 Hilarious, Silly Jokes No One is Too Old to Laugh At

https://bestlifeonline.com/hilariously-silly-jokes/

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