Laughter is the best medicine

There’s something to the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine.”
    An article caught my eye indicating scientists say laughter, humor and joy are an important part of life. Sometimes a somber atmosphere changes for a moment when a circumstance draws humor. Memories expressed at a funeral might spark laughter which allows a welcomed feel-good moment.
    It’s no surprise that laughter is an important part of life however I’m surprised at the extensive health effects. Studies show laughter decreases stress hormones, increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies and lowers blood pressure. Thus, it’s our friend in resisting disease.
    Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It promotes an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily relieve pain. Exercise also releases endorphins. Which sounds more inviting to you, to laugh or to go for a run?
    No doubt about it, laughter comes easier for some. Expression levels vary to a big degree. I might find something funny but my response doesn’t compare to my husband’s outburst. Not only does he laugh but he roars.
    When in another room, I’ve heard his cackle expand while watching T.V., almost bringing him to tears. Yet when I’ve had him rerun what struck him so funny, it did nothing for me. I found more humor in his laughter.
    Ironically, Russ reflects on childhood days when his dad embarrassed him at movies due to his exaggerated laughter that everyone in the theater heard. Talk about a chip off the old block. Our daughters could relate to his childhood embarrassment.
    The movie, “Wayne’s World,” particularly comes to mind. There were some innuendos from past movies that the younger generation wouldn’t understand. Some literally turned around and watched Russ for their entertainment.
    We’ve probably all been in situations when a group nearby breaks into laughter. Recognizing what fun they’re having creates envy. Yet if they try to share what was so funny, it doesn’t resonate. Thus the realization, “I guess you had to be there.”

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