LOL~Laughing out Loud does make you healthier.

I have been a devotee of self-help books for years. Many of them were very helpful in showing me how I could change thoughts and behaviors that did not serve me. I also have spent a great deal of my life keeping abreast of information in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. What has always fascinated me is that there is very little credit given to how humor can help us to navigate our daily lives. Oh the research is there. It has been growing exponentially for years . Laughter has many mental and physical benefits, but does not appear to be part of most health providers evaluations for their clients. I personally have not had a doctor ask me how often I laugh. And when I ask my audiences if they have, very few raise their hands. Laughter appears to many to be an act of frivolity, available and appropriate when one is very young, but something that needs to be muted in deference to more serious adult pursuits like being busy and productive all the time. What fascinates me is why the two concepts are not compatible. Can I be busy and still laugh and enjoy myself? Obviously in many sectors of business, healthcare and government that is considered verboten. Believe me, I am not advocating for people to act like fools or to create a circus atmosphere at work or in public, but I do know that without laughter we are living without the ability to look at life with a healthy perspective. When we are looking through the lens of humor we are more able to see ourselves as the cosmic joke, and life’s inevitable ups and downs become easier to navigate.  I wish every school and business would give some time every week to allowing people to simply laugh. Interestingly enough, it doesn’t matter if it’s authentic or not, since the end result is the same. I know that my sense of humor has gotten me through a difficult childhood, divorce, and several health issues. It has been my souls’ preservation. If you want to increase your humor quotient, start paying more attention to what makes you laugh. Not everyone laughs at the same things. I was never one for finding slapstick comedy funny. My kids loved the three stooges, I didn’t. I’m more in tune with Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Crystal and Jerry Seinfeld.  But I am also likely to find the funny in the everyday of my existence. That’s why I try to impress upon my audiences that they should try to discover their own inner sitcom, which will allow them to be amused even when their alone. Which means if you “show up” you’ll become your own entertainment center.

Laughing Buddah

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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3 Responses to LOL~Laughing out Loud does make you healthier.

  1. Patty Rufo says:

    You are so right Loretta. I haven’t laughed in a long time as everything and everyone around me is so serious. People either watch the news all day (which I don’t) or look for the negative in every situation. It is sad. Wouldn’t it be nice if all those comedy shows were back again.

  2. Karyn Buxman says:

    Thanks for a great post. I wish more docs would ask about laughter, Loretta. And then PRESCRIBE more laughter! In “What’s So Funny About… Diabetes?”, I discuss the effects of humor/laughter on lowering blood glucose, renin, and angiotensin along with raising HDL. (Great news for diabetics–and even if you’re not diabetic…) That’s just a smattering of the benefits! Adding humor to your regime to get and stay healthy (physically AND mentally) is a no-brainer. Kudos on your quest to encourage everyone to find their inner funny!

  3. Ted Casher says:

    Hey, Loretta—-Kenny and I spent a lot of time working in clubs, with many comics. After Dee died in 08, I remembered every joke from every club I worked in—this would make me laugh, often at inappropriate moments! It got me through a lot of bad times.
    One of the big items that keeps Vel and me together is that we laugh at the same things!

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