Hold the aspirin, pitch the penicillin and flush the anti-depressants. In this scary, E.coli infested world, a ray of hope has worked its way through the puny ozone layer.
Could it possibly be true that a good old-fashioned roar of laughter could be a more effective elixir for what ails us. That’s what reliable new studies are finding. And get this – studies suggest that the mere anticipation of humor has medical benefits. It reportedly boosts secretion of the growth hormone – which might account for Bob Hope’s ski-jump nose!
“The psychological effects of a single one-hour session viewing a humorous video has appeared to last up to 12 – 24 hours in some individuals,” noted Dr. Lee Berk in his recent report to the American Psychological Society. He added that daily 30-minute exposure produces profound and long-lasting changes in the manufacture of anti-viral and anti-tumor defenses.
Another study performed at the University of Maryland added more icing to this comedic cupcake. It found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease. So there, all you sour-pusses out there. Lighten up and laugh it up!
And to all my friends who make fun of me for setting my alarm for 2 a.m. to watch old re-runs of “I Love Lucy” and taking the phone off the hook during “Everybody Loves Raymond” reruns, you owe me an apology. I would tape them if I could ever figure out how to use that box that sits on top of the television set. I’ve got to go find another YP (younger person) to help me out. The last YP who gave me instructions was speaking gibberish and I tuned him out, giggling inwardly.
So the next time you feel a laugh bubbling up in your soul, don’t stifle it, let it rip – unless you’re in church or a funeral. Although one of the best laughs I’ve had recently was at the funeral of the father of my friend Gary.
Gary got up and told funny stories that brought down the house. Now, here’s a laugh for you – it will add hours to your life.
The infamous laughing baby: