The Link Between Your Health And The Sense of Humor
between your health and your sense of humor, and shell quickly
tell you how she handled a recent monster traffic jam.
laughter can improve your health: Laugh more, and you'll
buster, immune booster
better sense of humor, you’ll reduce the wear and tear
caused by stress, anxiety and frustration-while at the
same time strengthening your immune system’s ability to
fend off disease. Increasingly, scientific researchers all
across America are agreeing with her.
to tests showed that the immune systems of the "laughers" tend
to release more disease-fighting "T cells”
from the spleen into
the bloodstream than do the systems of the "non-laughers."
doubt that mirthful laughter stimulates the quantity of T
cells, and also their vitality.
these T cells are major weapons in the body’s defense against
illness, the "laughter stimulus” they receive may be a crucial
factor in staving off the next flu virus that comes your way.
mystery of exactly how laughter strengthens the immune system
continues to puzzle researchers.
simply that the physical exercise of laughing helps to
"condition" the disease-fighting system, in the same way that
exercise "conditions" an athlete? (Fry's studies have shown that
the "inner jogging" of laughter can boost the average pulse rate
from 60 to 120 in a few seconds, while flooding the entire
cardiovascular system with vital oxygen.) or is there also a
mysterious psychological component at work?
answer that" says Fry.
there's absolutely no doubt that laughing is great exercise.
Some people get so involved they end up kicking their feet in
health benefit to be gained from the giggles, he says, is that
vigorous laughter often activates the body's natural
tranquilizers-the brain-centered endorphins, which reduce pain
and trigger the euphoria known as "runner's high."
with the child inside
of these marvelous health benefits, you'd think that most of us
would be laughing our heads off these days in our continuing
quest for wellness. But we aren't, and for good reason: Life
today has become so stressful that many people can't seem to
manage even a tiny smile, let alone an old-fashioned
"A lot of
people have just plain forgotten how to laugh "explains Marci
Catanzaro, Ph.D., a University of Washington nursing professor,
"and that's really a shame." For those of us now suffering from
such "terminal seriousness" Catanzaro offers a helpful
recommendation: We should "reconnect with the child inside, and
learn how to laugh again by enjoying the silliness in life." To
accomplish that, try a few of these tips:
what Fry calls a five-day "humor profile" of yourself by making
a list of things you laughed at during that period (a funny
cartoon, a goofy remark, a TV comic,
etc.). Start collecting examples of that kind of humor.
to enjoy the comedy in your own mishaps and boo-boos.
Dr. Marvin Herring, a longtime professor of family medicine at
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey,
remembers how he once reached for a microphone before class-and
knocked his own wig off.
reaction? He simply made the mess-up part of the lesson-plan,
telling his students: "That just goes to show you that what you
see in life is not always what you get-an important lesson for a
yourself some of Catanzaro's tricks, such as taking a "humor
walk" each day (look for the "human comedy" all around you) or
keeping a jar full of your favorite jokes on your desk.
When it's appropriate, dare to show others the silliness in
a recent tumble she took on an icy sidewalk, Belcher recalls:
the friend I was walking with, 'Just remember that I fell
gracefully.' And then I laughed my head off.