Laughter, does it help?
Ah, that was just what I needed.
Does laughing help when our moods are low?
Laughing seems to do so much for our feelings, but is it real, or is it just in our heads, so to speak? The truth is, the effects of laughter might actually be in our heads, but not the way you might think. Ever notice how much better you feel after laughing at something?
This look says it all. "I don't laugh, it causes wrinkles! Besides, I meant to do that."
A quick story that made me start to think about laughter.
I was typing away at my computer and feeling stressed as time ticked by because I wasn’t done with my work and I might not make the deadline. Suddenly I felt a claw in my back. I turned around and saw one of my cats reaching out as if for a hug. I grumbled something about being busy, leave me alone and returned to my work. Suddenly, there was a cat on my keyboard glaring at me and flicking his tail furiously. I tried to shove him off so I could finish my work, but he fought me. I picked him up and he immediately began to purr. *SIGH* that always gets to me.
I took a few moment's break to pet my cat and then I turned back to my work surprised and angry to find that his weight on the keys had typed out several lines of gibberish that I had to delete before I could get back on track. I was deeply involved in the work once more when I felt a claw in my back again. I turned, expecting to see my cat once more wanting attention, but what I saw nearly made me fall off my chair. Standing with his back paws on the very edge of the table (which seems to have moved back from me) and reaching out to me, was my cat, as expected. However, he was stretched to his entire limit and was struggling to remain upright. He let me go, tried to balance himself on the edge of the table and fell in a rather embarrassing heap on the floor. He lay there for a moment, looked up at me with his little devil smile and began to wash himself as if he had meant for the entire event to happen for my amusement. I burst into laughter at his look and instantly felt much better. I went back to my work with a lot more energy, a feeling of confidence and another reminder of why I have cats around.
"Pushy cat, he didn't even wait for me to completely empty the bag!"
So, does laughter help?
Many studies have been done on the subject to see if laughter really does make a difference in your life. A study done at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that laughter caused the inner lining of the blood vessels to dilate which increased blood flow. This aided the heart by making the blood easier to pump and opened up tightened and blocked blood vessels. Studies done both with primates and humans show that laughter has been found to lead to reduced production of stress hormones. Also, the brain releases endorphins during laughter that can relieve physical pain. Laughter has also been linked to the release of antibody-producing cells which helps to strengthen the immune system.
Laughter also appears to be contagious. Meaning once someone hears another laugh, they can’t seem to help but laugh or at least smile themselves. Laughter also helps the brain to return to a better focus and gives the body a needed boost of relaxation. When we are busy with our daily routines, when we are concentrating on work, when we are trying to keep up with deadlines, our muscles tighten with the stress. Laughter allows the muscles to relax their grip, so to speak, and eases tension.
Laughter gives you a positive feeling and allows you to enjoy life a bit easier. Laughter gives the body much needed energy and it helps to give you a more optimistic outlook when in difficult situations. Laughter allows you to feel better, happier, and more positive. So, does laughter help? What do you think?
Let's check out some jokes to see if we can get a few giggles, compliments of ahajokes.com?
- Why did the dinosaur cross the street? Give up? Because chickens hadn’t evolved yet!
- (There were) some race horses staying in a stable. One of them starts to boast about his track record. "In the last 15 races, I've won 8 of them!"
Another horse breaks in, "Well in the last 27 races, I've won 19!"
"Oh that's good, but in the last 36 races, I've won 28!", says another, flicking his tail.
At this point, they notice that a greyhound dog has been sitting there listening. "I don't mean to boast,"says the greyhound, "but in my last 90 races, I've won 88 of them!"
The horses are clearly amazed. "Wow!" says one, after a hushed silence. "A talking dog!"
- A man went to visit a friend and was amazed to find him playing chess with his dog. He watched the game in astonishment for a while. "I can hardly believe my eyes!" he exclaimed. "That's the smartest dog I've ever seen." "Nah, he's not so smart," the friend replied. "I've beaten him three games out of five."
Did these make you smile? Or have you heard them before?
Next, let's look at some actual signs that have appeared in various locations. I think many of them forgot to check their work before putting them up....
- On a New York convalescent home: "For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church."
- On a Maine shop: "Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship."
- At some military base: "Restricted to unauthorized personnel."
- On a display of "I love you only" Valentine cards: "Now available in multi-packs."
- In the window of a Kentucky appliance store: "Don't kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work."
- In a funeral parlor: "Ask about our layaway plan."
- In a clothing store: "Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks."
- In a Tacoma, Washington men's clothing store: "15 men's wool suits, $10. They won't last an hour!"
- On a shopping mall marquee: "Archery Tournament-Ears pierced"
Did you at least smile at some of these? I know I did.
Sites that I used for my information
- Home | University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center is one of the nation's oldest academic medical centers. Located on the West Side of Downtown Baltimore, the Medical Center is distinguished by discovery-driven tertiary and quaternary care for the entire stat
- Laughter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor
Learn how to harness the powerful health benefits of laughter and humor. Includes tips for bringing more laughter into your life.
- Aha! Jokes: Clean Humor and Funny Pictures!
Jokes, funny pictures, free cartoons, humor, fun pages, and more!
I'll bet you are feeling much better now, aren't you?
Did you know that by smiling at one person you can make ten other people smile? Besides, by smiling, you can make others wonder what you are up to and that would make me smile!
Here are some actual resume bloopers
**"I'm married with 9 children. I don't require prescription drugs."
**"I am extremely loyal to my present firm, so please don't let them know of my immediate availability."
**"I am a man filled with passion and integrity, and I can act on short notice. I'm a class act and do not come cheap."***"I intentionally omitted my salary history. I've made money and lost money. I've been rich and I've been poor. I prefer being rich."
**"Please don't misconstrue my 14 jobs as 'job-hopping'. I have never quit a job."
**"Number of dependents: 40."
**"Marital Status: Often. Children: Various."
**"Here are my qualifications for you to overlook."
Reason for leaving my last job:
**"Responsibility makes me nervous."
**"They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Couldn't work under those conditions."
**"Was met with a string of broken promises and lies, as well as cockroaches."
**"I was working for my mom until she decided to move."
**"The company made me a scapegoat - just like my three previous employers."
**"While I am open to the initial nature of an assignment, I am decidedly disposed that it be so oriented as to at least partially incorporate the experience enjoyed heretofore and that it be configured so as to ultimately lead to the application of more rarefied facets of financial management as the major sphere of responsibility."
**"I was proud to win the Gregg Typting Award."
**"Please call me after 5:30 because I am self-employed and my employer does not know I am looking for another job."
**"My goal is to be a meteorologist. But since I have no training in meteorology, I suppose I should try stock brokerage."
**"I procrastinate - especially when the task is unpleasant."
**"Minor allergies to house cats and Mongolian sheep."
**"Donating blood. 14 gallons so far."
Small typos that can change the meaning:
**"Education: College, August 1880-May 1984."
**"Work Experience: Dealing with customers' conflicts that arouse."
**"Develop and recommend an annual operating expense fudget."
**"I'm a rabid typist."
**"Instrumental in ruining entire operation for a Midwest chain operation."
Laugh, grin, smile, enjoy, smell the roses, savor, whatever it takes to make the moment a happy one. Laughter can help you live longer. Laughter will enhance your life for the better. Laughter really is good for you!
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds
More by this Author
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Information on why cats behave the way they do. Along with a bit of a gallery of my own babies.