Saturday, 28 February 2015

Laughter...and Health?

Have you ever laughed so hard that your cheeks started to hurt? I have! Laughter is arguably one of the simplest ways to feel happy. It can be because of a silly joke, a funny movie clip, or even an embarrassing moment...but the results are the same: when we laugh, we feel better. We feel good. It is almost as though for a single quick moment, our worries are gone from our minds. For that quick laugh, we can think of nothing else but the hilarity that has just occurred. Now, more than ever, the world needs some laughter...

Wouldn't it be great if we actually had studies to support that laughter is good for our health? Well. it appears that we do! I did a lot of research on this, and there is quite a bit of literature out there on this topic. For the sake of time and my fingers that have to type all this out, I have chosen a few articles to discuss here. The first was a large, cross-cultural study that tested the relationship between laughter and health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.libaccess.lib.mcmaster.ca/pmc/articles/PMC2719285/. This study attempted to correlate laughter with disease prevalence  - that is, the presence of disease. The results? Those who laughed more had fewer chronic (long-term, 'on and off' illnesses) than those who did not laugh as much (or at all).

Now, here is an important point: this is a correlation. That means that laughter and less disease are related/ It does not mean that laughter CAUSES less diseases to be present. But what it DOES indicate is that there is some sort of relationship between the two, such that more laughter may indicate that the same person may experience less disease.

I like what the authors in this study conclude: laughter is really an important part of our lives. Whether it is related to less disease or simply a better mood, laughter is critical! Imagine how beneficial laughter can be if we implemented it in various areas of our lives. For example, what if we used more humour in stressful situations, like when we are freaking out because our assignment is due in two days? Or what if we can turn a tense moment, such as in a heated argument, into a joke? (Note that laughter always needs to be introduced appropriately. For example, it clearly is not a good time to bring in a joke if your loved one is furious that you forgot about their birthday).

In terms of healthcare providers, what we if simply smiled more at patients? Think about this: how do you feel when your doctor or nurse walks in and is frowning? Probably not great. But what about when they come in smiling or make the situation light-hearted? It makes a huge difference! This is truly what I have tried to implement in my own nursing experiences. I always walk in with a smile on my face, and when possible, make the situation fun or funny. There is always time to be serious. But then again, there is always time to have fun and laugh! It is amazing how simply making something humorous can change the way we feel, the way we think of situations, and our abilities to problem-solve and cope.

Of course, we cannot always laugh. But one thing we can do: make laughter a priority. Try to joke around (when appropriate) and get some humour into your life. Make others laugh and feel contentment as you realize how you've made their day jut a little more special, a little more tolerable. Try watching a funny show or reading some good jokes...and feel your face ache as you cannot stop laughing. Then feel the relief on the inside, that for a quick moment, all you could do is laugh. For someone who struggled with a degree of depression in the ICU, I can assure you that laughter works! Three years from then - today - I am strong in my recovery and do not suffer from depression. I have learned ways to cope, to heal, and to sustain my health. And allow me to fill you in on a secret: laughter is one of the best things that I have discovered. There is nothing like a smile or a good laugh to make the situation more manageable, to give hope, and to renew strength. (P.S. Note the hilarious joke in the picture about the tuna sandwich named Kevin!)

Please, take some time today (and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that!) to laugh! (Also, if you look online for jokes, please - search for CLEAN jokes. Here is a site that got me laughing - check it out! http://www.laughfactory.com/jokes/clean-jokes). (P.s. Also note the funny joke in this picture about laughter and medicine. Yes, so it is a little silly and 'nasty' ... but I seriously laughed out loud!). See the joke below to get you started - it really made me laugh out loud!

A Minnesota couple decided to vacation to Florida during the winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday. His wife would fly down the following day.


The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail.


Meanwhile.....somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. He was a minister of many years who was called home to glory following a sudden heart attack. The widow decided to check her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted.


The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 May 2003

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is not as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is hot down here!



86 comments:

  1. Yes laughter and smile cured my dad depression.

    Sorina

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  2. Laughter calms my anxiety

    Jenn

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  3. I like people who laugh

    Rhonda

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  4. I even fake it when I can not make .
    Smile and laughter nourish you

    Sheila ketson

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  5. Even my sleep better when I laugh


    Jack

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  6. I am open to any hint making me laugh

    Muhammad

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  7. I feel the importance of laughter when I miss it for even an hour of my busy day and I urge my client to laugh .

    Kelly W

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  8. when I do not have any thing to laugh at,I go to jokes website

    Idelbero

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  9. Since my recovery from the booze I laugh my A.. off


    Carlos

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  10. I like people who smile and laugh

    Eric

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  11. I know the meaning of laughter as I am recovering from my depression

    Eduarda

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  12. When I laugh ,every thing go well in my life.


    Shady

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  13. When I laugh I achieve and focus

    Hend

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  14. My doctor who helped me recover from my depression and PTSD said your laughter is maintaining your happiness adn recovery and avoiding any relapse.

    Mays

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  15. If I do not laugh ,I feel unwell and so I look for a joke

    Salvatore

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  16. I say hello to those who laugh even if I do not know them

    Tora

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  17. Laughter can be forced if does not come naturally and believe me will come naturally soon.

    Huda

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  18. I learn to laugh at any moment even at church.
    My spirit and attitude changed since I start smiling and laughing

    Mary
    Mississauga

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  19. I can taste how cool and nice is laughter since I made complete recovery from my cancer.

    Marilyn

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  20. I know I am healthy when I laugh and smile

    Ken

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  21. I need to laugh at least 10 times daily

    Hearns

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  22. I have a hilarious friend to call when I need to laugh

    Reena

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  23. I know I need help with keep my laughter and I am working on it with my psychologist.

    Anne

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  24. I need to marry someone help me laughing

    Israel

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  25. Today my snack named Ashley!!!

    Caranza

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can help others to laugh

    Carmina

    ReplyDelete
  27. A day without laughter is a day lost

    Tom

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  28. I treat my constipation and stress by laughter but I do not if can treat diarrhea too!!

    Weerasekera

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  29. I do not have a BF and laughter is giving me love and comfort better than warm hug

    Sorina

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  30. My life has been rosy since I start include laughing and smiling part of my life.

    Halala

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  31. When We laugh, We are alive.

    Bozato

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  32. I saved some jokes on my phone so that I can laugh when I want to

    Perez

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  33. My mom named me Stern but I always laugh

    Stern

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  34. I feel with each laughter 1 hour add to my life


    Devin

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  35. Laugh or even smile as when you smile ,your life smiles and give you more .


    Soma

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  36. For me laughing is best pain killer and mood enhacer and sleep medicine and happiness


    Juliana

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  37. I feel sorry for those who do not laugh

    Maldonado

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  38. When you laugh, you take away stress at least momentarily

    Tavares

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  39. Laughing is my medicine ,no more medicine can relieve your stress.

    Ricardo

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  40. In mental health We help clients to look for something make them feel better ,examples ,talk to good friend,walk ,eat better ,exercise,listen to music,meditate,laugh ,smile ,massage ,dance,sing,shower ,go to beauty salon,gym,yoga etc.
    We do have evidence to those who are positive and smile have less disease ,feel optmesitc and do better even if get depressed.

    Penny
    Medical student

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  41. Smiling people are welcome and get hired

    Blanchette

    ReplyDelete
  42. In parts of India ,they treat sickness with laughter

    Satnam

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  43. This post is really good and making me laugh

    Anastashia

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  44. I love my doctor because always makes me smile and she assures me when I feel worry .

    Gordana

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  45. Thank you for the jokes and website.
    I can't live without humor in my life

    Sheila Ketson

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  46. Give me a joke and I will laugh non stop

    Jack

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  47. In my home country ,We say ,when you laugh, Life laugh and smile to you and with you

    Fady

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  48. Even when I am not well, I will continue to laugh as my healing .

    Boyless

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  49. I love to keep a list of any joke I hear

    Gangji

    ReplyDelete
  50. You are making me a favor if you get me to laugh all day

    Salvatore

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  51. I love to laugh

    Ivanka

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  52. Your blog promotes hopes and laughter and shed away sadness ,shame ,blame and bad attitude

    Oswaldo

    ReplyDelete
  53. Laughter is my ABC.

    Clayton

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  54. Thank you for making me laugh and gigle .
    Very very proud of you.
    Please keep laughing ,smiling,positive and hopeful.
    You are insirational to me starting myself.


    Happy Women's day.

    Nagy

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  55. I love the jokes very much.
    Thank you

    Szeto

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  56. Laughter relieves my pain more than medications

    Clement

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  57. I love the picture with big laughter.

    Buckland

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  58. Your laughter on this post is contagious and I am sure motivating those who miss it to go after it.

    Leo

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  59. Laugh to live longer, healthier and happier

    Ivano

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  60. Thank you for this laughing post.

    Wanda

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  61. I appreciate any smile and any sense of humor.

    Hernandez

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  62. I start my day with some jokes and fun and I will smile all day

    Colin

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  63. I told you :" you are a GEM"
    Keep your hope Ms. Hope


    Lilian

    ReplyDelete
  64. I am easy guy ,any joke makes me laugh and happy

    Mendez

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  65. This post is a confirmation from experienced person like you that laughter is a healer and health promoter.

    Eric

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  66. My 2 years old baby makes me laugh a lot.
    I am blessed to have him

    Mohinder

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  67. I read the post and the jokes made me laugh.
    Thank you.I believe laughter help you live longer and lower your stress

    Sam Ibrahim.
    Burnhamthorpe
    Mississauga

    ReplyDelete
  68. My wife making me laugh all the time


    Santamaria

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  69. You post making me feel good.
    Thank you


    Magaly

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  70. Laugh and every one will follow

    Hend

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  71. I am laughing after I read your jokes.

    Thank you

    Sung

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  72. laughter makes me happy

    Pinto

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  73. I appreciate the smiling post and humorous persons.

    Marsha

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  74. Thank you for making me laugh

    S K

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  75. Even though I have asthma and sometimes laughing loudly can induce cough but I noted laughing deeply and loudly from my heart help my lung function,breathing ,mood and attitude.
    Cheer Marina.


    Jasmeet

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  76. laughter creates good mood and stress relief .
    Every body Cheer up.

    Jeremy

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  77. When someone smiles at me makes me happy and so I always smile at people .

    D Little

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  78. I will bring a treat to whoever tell me a joke

    Bobyk

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  79. For sure you are a talented writed and have great sense of humor.

    Murray

    ReplyDelete
  80. Smile and laugh so you live longer

    Miranda

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  81. Reading this post making me laugh and hopeful

    Colleen

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  82. Thanks for this post.
    I believe hope ,smile and laughing and positive attitude help recovery and prevent relapse .

    Recovered ED survivor

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  83. You are making me happy and laughing

    Genesis

    ReplyDelete
  84. Laugh to lower stress

    Helena

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  85. In my culture We create jokes and laugh at things that bother us like bad politicians ,poverty, and even our weakness.

    Hamza

    ReplyDelete
  86. I'm glad you all enjoyed the post about laughter and humour! I agree with you all - humour makes life and its challenges easier to face. I hope you all find time in each day to smile and laugh! :)

    ReplyDelete

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