In the 1950s, Humorist Victor Borge said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.” At the time, he had no idea that modern medical science would prove him right. He just instinctively knew that humor helped people feel better.
Laughing has a positive influence on your mental and physical well-being. Your pattern of thinking changes and studies show that laughing has an effect on your body similar to that when jogging or doing aerobics.
According to research at Stanford University Medical School, laughing increases heart rate and flexes the diaphragm, chest and abdominal muscles. All of this releases chemicals to the brain that increases alertness and readies the body for action.
Yet, most people’s days are not filled with laughter. It is because we forget. We get so overloaded with work, family, world struggles, finances, improving ourselves, etc. We are so busy taking care of life that we forget to live it. That is why we get mad at inanimate objects and situations that we have no control over.
We are too busy stressing about the next moment to find the joy in this moment.
Admit it, you probably have driven from one point to another and don’t even remember making that drive because you were not “present” at the time you were driving. Or you have yelled at a stoplight for turning red because you were running late. A stoplight… which is on a timer.
It is essential that each of us find a way to bring humor into our lives daily. We can do so by reading or sharing a funny story, or even watching a weird cat video. We need to recognize that we might not always have control over the events in our lives, however we do have control over our response to them.
Humor is the key. We should make it as much of a priority as joining a health club or buying a treadmill. When you think about it, you don’t even need to buy special clothing for laughing. In fact, I recommend laughing in the nude because it enhances the experience. Just imagine how healthy you would be if you were laughing nude while walking on a treadmill! I just wouldn’t recommend doing it at a health club.
Juli Burney, M.A. is an Investing In You seminar speaker, motivational humorist, author, and Associate Professor of Communication at Doane University. For more information, visit www.jburney.com.