A laugh a day could keep the doctor away - The Explorer: Aging Well

A laugh a day could keep the doctor away

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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 3:00 am

You can do it by yourself or with others. It requires about 20 muscles, but it hardly seems like a strain, and 30 seconds of it can be equivalent to a great workout.

Yes, we’re talking about laughter, a simple thing we do and take for granted.

Laughter is very powerful, as it has been proven to actually alleviate pain. Laughter and humor help us relax, lower our stress levels, and help us find “the funny,” which can give us a new perspective on seemingly difficult situations.

“Finding the funny” is important as we face changes brought on by careers, technology, aging, politics, media, illness, loss of loved ones, and the economy, among other variables.

Patty Wooten, former president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, classified three types of therapeutic humor: hoping, coping, and gallows humor. Hoping is the ability to hope for something better in spite of overwhelming circumstances; an example of this could be watching a familiar comic do a favorite routine to provide a safe haven in a time of trouble.

Laughter affects how we communicate. When “the funny” alleviates pressure or serves as a barometer for how we view life, it serves as a signal for us to continue looking at all that is good around us. Whether we use Laughter Yoga to tickle our funny bones or try to see the humor in the simplest of details, the ability to guffaw can help change our outlook from dark to sunny—if even for a few moments.

To receive the full white paper on “A Laugh a Day,” call 878-2612.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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