Laughter: The Medicine For All Ages
I have always felt that I have a good sense of humor. I seem to be able to find humor in almost any situation. I know that it makes me feel good, and it seems to make others feel good too. This is who I am. Laughter and having a sense of humor is probably one of the best things in life. It doesn’t cost anything, you have it with you all the time, and it doesn’t hurt anyone. I believe laughter should be a part of everyone’s daily life, just like water and food. Now I have found that doctors also feel this way and they are using laughter in their treatment of patients. This confirms what I already believed. Laughter really is good for people.
I was curious to know exactly what laughter does physically for the body and how it helps us medically. A research project done at the University of Maryland showed that laughter causes the body to have a normal blood flow. Doctors have proven through studies that laughing raises the level of antibodies that fight infection and boosts our immunity. Doctors also say that people with diabetes have much lower blood sugar levels when they laugh or watch funny movies. People that have trouble sleeping due to painful illnesses, get much more restful sleep if they watch funny shows or laugh prior to going to bed.
Due to these findings, doctors have now started prescribing laughter as an aide in helping patients get well. They tell people to go to the movies and see a comedy, go out with friends, read some jokes, or just call a funny friend. Hospitals have actually built “laughter rooms” where patients can go to be amused through television, movies, reading, and interaction with other patients. Both doctors and hospitals find that aside from the physical benefits of laughter, the mental benefits are just as important. In many cases, the medical field has found that by using the above methods of treatment, patients have required less use of aspirin. Patients report they experience fewer headaches, their pain is less severe, and they have a better mental outlook on life.
I didn’t know the medical facts until recently but I always knew that laughing made me feel better. So logically, I believed it made others feel better also. Laughter goes along with happiness, and happiness is always a good thing.
As a kid, all my friends told me that I was one of the funniest people they knew. They liked to be with me because I made them laugh and we had a lot of fun. When they felt down, I could make them feel better. When they were sick, I could make them forget about it for a while. I always believed that humor and laughing was a great way to live my life, and now I know that it is. Jay Leno said, “You can not be mad at somebody that makes you laugh”. This is exactly what my friends always told me. They found it impossible to be mad at me. My philosophy has always been “Laughter and a good sense of humor…..it can’t hurt”.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.