No joke: April is National Humor Month
Humor and health
That was a joke.
But only sort of, because any study that links humor and health is actually linking laughter and health benefits. So, heed this warning: don’t expect a bad joke to cure what ails you. But laughter: that’s a whole different story.
Laughter is the best medicine … because it’s a lot cheaper!Physiologically and psychologically speaking, the act of laughing has certain undeniable benefits. The real kicker: those laughter benefits often mirror the benefits of many pharmaceuticals, but for free – and with fewer negative side effects:
- Laughter improves vision? Laughter presents an opportunity to shift your perspective, helping you see difficult or unpleasant situations in a whole new light. It is also said that humor decreases myopia (near sightedness), as it allows you to step outside yourself to laugh at yourself or a tough situation.
- Laughter: anti-anxiety medicine? In this study, participants from Terra Haute, Indiana, were force-fed humorous videos to the point of raucous laughter, which resulted in reduced stress measurements. Whether it works outside of Terre Haute is yet to be proven.
- Laughter: nature’s psychiatrist? This study suggests that humor can reduce or eliminate undesirable negative emotions. And, unlike your psychiatrist, humor doesn't charge you by the half hour.
- Laughter: HIV medicine? This study shows that mirthful laughter improves NK cell activity, which increases disease resistance and decreases morbidity in those with cancer and HIV disease.
- Laughter: a muscle relaxant? After a hearty belly laugh, your body will experience relief from muscle tension and stress. The relaxing effect can last up to 45 minutes. Then, just repeat the dosage as needed for further relief.
- Laughter: an effective pain killer? In one study, humor was shown to help ease the pain in terminally ill patients and encourage the healing process in other patients.
- Laughter: the legal upper? Doctors tell us that laughter fires off endorphins, which are known as a natural feel-good chemical. Laughter: take two in the morning and enjoy an overall sense of well-being all day.
- Laughter: low-cost heart medicine? The act of laughing increases your blood flow and may even improve the function of your blood vessels. These actions may help protect you from heart disease and heart attacks.
- Laughter: morphine without addiction? If you want to increase your resistance to pain, try a dose of laughter. According to this study, the presence of laughter increases pain tolerance.
- Laughter: immunity booster shot? According to scientists, laughter diminishes stress hormones and boosts immune cells, improving your ability to fight disease.
Get some laughs, Give Some Laughs
Also try these tips for spreading a little laughter into the world, or find ways to giggle up a few smiles in your own life:
- Seek out funny people. Or, at least funny looking people.
- Spend a few minutes daily with one of the many online sources for laughter, including YouTube,
- Dealing with cancer? Here is a list of sites with humor for and by people with cancer.
- Here’s a workplace laugh maker tickler list of ideas to add a little levity and to improve the mood at your place of business. Sneak peek at one of the many great ideas there: organize a “hum-along.” It's hard to be stressed when you're humming.
- For Henny Youngman fans, find all Henny Youngman Jokes here, including such classics as “A doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn't pay his bill, so he gave him another six months.”
- Check out the huge GCFL.net collection (Good Clean Funnies List), especially their favorite jokes list, sorted and rated by readers.
- Get jokes for kids at Yahooligans! Jokes.