This I Believe

Ryan - Papillion, Nebraska
Entered on December 3, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Everything is just wrong. I have too much homework to do, and not enough time to finish it. My mom doesn’t believe that I was at my friend’s house last night and now she wants to take away my car. At work, my boss has been on me about working harder and getting more done. I’m so stressed out—my life seems to be falling apart.

Then I turn to my friend. He cracks a joke about how we thought that lady sitting in the booth behind us was definitely a dude. A smile jumps across my face and I start to feel better. He continues with the joke, commenting on how her jeans were the most butch thing he had seen on a woman in years. He was right—they hugged in all the wrong places. But now I was laughing and it felt amazing. All the worries of my life began to wash away as I shared that laugh with friend. Even though it was at someone else’s expense, I had to no real reason to feel guilt. The lady couldn’t hear us—we were long gone from that pizza parlor. So the laugh was justified, and it made me feel good.

I believe that laughter is truly life’s best medicine. Whenever I’m feeling sad, stressed out, or just down in the dumps, telling a joke goes a mile. Humor changes a person’s mind state. It brings them from a logical and realistic point of view into a perspective of comedy—a perspective that can only yield good times.

Comedy doesn’t only have to be about telling jokes. I get a kick out of simply observing people. When they don’t know they are being watched, sometimes people can do some pretty hilarious things. I highly recommend this method of comedy.

Although immature and slightly awkward, tickling can also be a great tool of laughter—when done in the right circumstances. I do not recommend running up to your football coach who has been having a rough day, and start twiddling your fingers on his abdomen. This probably won’t be okay with your coach, and will end up being one of those highly awkward moments. Try tickling your girlfriend or boyfriend, or maybe your little sister. Figure out where they are ticklish the most and go wild. This can be a great start to better moods.

Although it’s no cure for cancer, laughter can work miracles on your psyche. For better overall health, I prescribe a good laugh two to three times daily. I believe it will really change your life.