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Is Humor and Laughter Really the “Best Medicine?”

Humor is infectious. How many times have you been in a conversation, someone begins to laugh and you start laughing yourself? How many times have you heard a group of people laughing and a smile came to your face? When laughter is shared, it brings people closer and increases happiness. Studies have shown laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Laughter and humor can strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, lessen pain and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.

According to Paul McGee, PhD, laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain and conflict. Nothing works better or is more reliable to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your load, inspires hope, connects you to others and keeps you grounded, focused and alert. According to Dr. McGee, “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”

There are also social benefits to laughter and humor. Lively communication can strengthen a relationship by triggering positive feelings and connecting you with someone on an emotional level. When we share laughter with someone special it is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and special. Laughter makes us feel good, and the feeling you get when you laugh remains with you – even after the laughter subsides.

More than just a break from feeling sadness, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even when times are difficult, a laugh or a simple smile can go a long way toward making you feel better. Laughter is contagious.

As laughter, humor and play become an integrated part of your life, your creativity will bloom and you may discover involvement with friends, loved ones and acquaintances will happen almost every day. Humor takes you to a place where you can see the world from a more relaxed, positive, creative, joyful and balanced perspective. Maybe the saying “laughter is the best medicine” holds true. Until next time…live, love and laugh,

Kathy Weston
Preceptor Health Care
Director of Hospice Operations

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