Humor is the best medicine.


When I had my hip replaced, I went into the operation using my playfulness to ease the fear of going under the knife. Because I had previously held a workshop at that hospital, the nurses who prepped me were totally prepared for my banter and were ready to participate.
It was four days before Christmas, and they’d gotten funny hats to wear in my honor. They were all shocked by how low my blood pressure was just before surgery..but given the humorous situation and my outlook, it made sense. There’s scientific literature that supports the fact that when people laugh, “feel good” chemicals rush forth with each giggle and help the body stay well. Now there’s research that shows that laughter may even help prevent heart disease by expanding capillary function.
Life is always going to hand you lemons, there’s no question about that. But instead of making lemonade,as the cliche goes, you may be better off just laughing about it. Yes, finding comic relief in bad situations can be a life saver, but God knows, don’t wait for a dismal diagnosis to get started. You may have many opportunities to manifest humor in your day to day life. I often feel as if I’m in the middle of a sitcom as I go through the day. My observational skills have gone into high gear whenever my radar senses absurdity.
For example I’ve found myself laughing more at the TV commercials than during actual shows I’ve been watching. I crack up over the ads for toilet paper that use Bears to promote it. Really? How about the giant bee that is the representative for a medication for toe fungus? Why are bears and bees being chosen?
And why does every little product these days have to be treated as if it’s the result of decades of intense research? I went to buy a mattress and was helped by a “sleep consultant” who was dressed like an emergency room physician. He then proceeded to walk me through a ten page questionnaire to assess my sleep quotient. It felt more like a preparation for a CAT scan than buying a bed.
If you think humor is too difficult to in-corporate into your life, ease into it. We all have the ability to laugh unless we are biologically compromised. Getting upset over mountains of trivia can only lessen your ability to handle a real crisis. Humor can be an extraordinary method to build resiliency and to keep your perspective. Instead of becoming upset over the inevitable ups and downs that are part of life, try to find humor in some of them. Keep in mind that humor is the best medicine.

 

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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