Thursday, September 6, 2012

Benefits of Laughter

As many of you know, I'm an afficianado of laughter. I love to both partake of a good laugh and help others do the same at every possible opportunity. I love to laugh. I always have. It's one of my "vices." I also love chocolate. And I love staying up until 5am. And I love gambling. But thankfully, laughter has none of the consequences of my other vices. I've never blown $70 at a laughter table in Atlantic City, laughter doesn't give me zits or make me gain weight, and having a good laugh doesn't leave me sleep-deprived. Au contraire, my friends.

Laughter is rife with wonderful health benefits. It is a "vice" that actually makes my life better. In fact I only call it a "vice" in jest, as it is actually a virtue. But if I call laughter a virtue, we won't want to do it... :)

What's really therapeutic is when I can laugh at my troubles. It really puts them in their place. It gives me back my power. Many of you have read my book or heard my Sick Humor CD and you know that is what a lot of my writing is about- taking back the power by finding the funny in the pain. For example:

But often, I need some time to pass before I can joke about something that is causing me anxiety or frustration. In those times, I laugh at something else. For example, when my husband was under a tremendous amount of stress this past spring, and there was nothing left for me to say that would help, I would sometimes ask if I could turn on some standup comedy while we were in the car. I chose comedians who were light, and not sarcastic or negative (we both love Mitch Hedberg, for one). Over time, as things improved, we were able to joke about his actual situation too.

But you don't have to have comedy to laugh. Laughter clubs all over the world use laughter exercises. They just laugh at nothing! Thanks to for this great infographic on laughter benefits. It relates the benefits to stress reduction. But laughter can also be helpful in prevention, not just cure. True health is about maintaining a state of wholeness, joy, and radiant being. What makes you laugh? When was the last time you laughed so hard you thought you'd wet your pants? Where do you get your funny? Wishing you a laugh-filled day-

The Singing Patient: Author, Survivor, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer - Carla's book "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?"

  Laughter Infographic