Laugh ‘til your sides hurt and tears roll
down your cheeks...‘cause laughter really is the best medicine. It’s truly
amazing the positive effects a cheerful attitude and a good belly laugh can have
on our emotions and our physical systems. I had living proof of that in my own
When I arrived in
I insisted that he go outside and sit in the
sunshine and urged him to walk at least a little bit. He resisted, but I
didn’t give in. The very next day, I went to the nearest book store and
brought back several joke books and a silly novel. I started reading the jokes
to him, and gradually, he started to chuckle at some of them. Before long, he
was telling me a few of his own.
I tried to get him to read the novel, but he
wasn't interested, so I started reading it to him. Every day for the rest of the
week, I got him outside to walk, a little more each day, and continued reading
the novel and telling him jokes. When we weren't doing that, I carried on
cheerful conversation with him and my mom.
By the time I left at the end of the week,
Dad and I were walking the long block to the bay where we sat and watched white
pelicans floating around the little island off shore. When I left, he was
cheerful and acting much more alert, and he promised me he would finish reading
One week later, when my sister and her
family visited them, Dad had fully recovered. They were surprised when I acted
concerned for his health because he was just as feisty as ever, going out to
restaurants and fishing with his granddaughters.
Research has shown that nearly every system
in the body reacts positively to laughter, and I ‘m convinced that getting my
dad to laugh helped him recover both emotionally and physically.
Laughter helps to produce endorphins, the
body’s natural pain killer, and cortisol, which enhances the immune system and
the cardiovascular system. It stimulates the production of killer T-cells, which
control harmful bacteria, and it causes the major muscle groups to relax while
it exercises the internal organs a bit. Laughter also sharpens the brain as it
pumps more oxygen through the system. Gerontologists are even proposing that
laughter can help you live longer.
Now how could anyone not want to laugh?
Laughter has no calories, no cholesterol, no preservatives, and no artificial
ingredients. It is free, legal, and absolutely safe. (Adapted from a quote by
Dale Irvine.) It definitely is the best medicine. Use it liberally and
frequently, and enjoy the positive frame of mind you gain.
Caroline Corser, Cheerleader for Positive Lifestyles, speaks to baby boomers and seniors about filling your life with laughter and play. She can be reached at 661-871-9201 or caroline@AwesomeAging.com
Contact Caroline now to engage her as a keynote
567 W. Channel Islands Blvd., #240