Word-Of-the-Week #847: Laughter

October 29, 2020 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #847: Laughter 

Laughter – the sound of happiness and amusement.

When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?  Did you know that having a good sense of humor is a contributing factor to longevity?

This week more exerpts from the 2nd half of the Beth Ward article on The Power of the Punchline. Health benefits of a good laugh are no joke. Physical reaction to comedy can help ease stress, aid focus, even boost long-term well-being.

  • Laughter is contagious

“Comedy is available to us on the Internet, through streaming services and on television. But many prefer their laughs live. The market size of the comedy-club industry had increased almost 2 percent every year from 2015. Then came the pandemic, and subsequent restrictions — and this steady growth came to an abrupt halt.

In San Diego, some comics were experiencing withdrawal from making people laugh — or hearing people laugh, in the case of virtual performances.

Three local stand-up comics — Alexander James, Jim Pine and Chris Espinoza — created Drive-Up Comedy, where the audience stays in their cars.

“Our Drive-Up Comedy performers are ecstatic,” Espinoza said. “As much as we need it, the audience needs it. If you’re in a good mood, you’ll live longer.”

Many medical professionals back that up, saying that a sense of humor is a contributing factor to longevity. Just look at comedians Betty White, 98, and Mel Brooks, 94.

  • Sharing commonality

Another big plus of humor is that it encourages human interaction. Sharing a chuckle — even virtually — can create a feeling of connection.

“When you have a similar response with someone to a stressful or absurd event, it’s a sharing of a commonality,” Crumpler said.

Sharp’s Crumpler noted that when people are going through the same experiences, such as financial problems and even the tragedy of death, laughter may feel awkward, but it is crucial.

“We need to not forget those things but not let them overwhelm us,” he said. “Humor’s a unifying factor that can points out differences of opinion in a constructive way. We need to cooperate and become communal.”

“It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.”    – DR. SEUSS, 1957

  • Laugh for real

Are you afraid you’re losing your sense of humor? In 2020, it’s understandable. If your usual laugh-inducing outlets aren’t helping, try learning to laugh.

“The physiology behind fake laughter is to stimulate the motion and mechanism of laughter. It’s like push-starting a car,” said Dr. Hans Crumpler of Sharp HealthCare. “Fake-laughter methods are meant to kickstart pleasure chemicals within the brain.”

This week’s focus is on is on the sound of happiness and amusement coming from you. How easy is it for you to find humor in everyday life these days? Did you know that laughter kickstarts pleasure chemicals in the brain? Do you know how to have FUN?

I LOVE feedback! Join my Facebook community on my FUN-damentals Fan Page.

Word-Of-the-Week #612: Laughter

April 28, 2016 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #612: Laughter 

Laughter the sound of happiness and amusement.

When was the last time you had a good belly laugh? How about a nice piece of dark chocolate? Can you believe that when combined they could help you have a healthier and happier life? Seriously!

This week’s SDUT featured an article by Michele Parente titled, “LAUGHTER, CHOCOLATE: A HEALTHY COMBO. Father, son team up for UCSD lecture to unwrap mysteries of two happy habits.” She writes, “Here’s something that’s sure to put a smile on your face: A key to good health just might come in the form of a chocolate chuckle.

Scientific studies have long given credence to the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Now, an increasing body of research is showing the positive health benefits of dark chocolate.

Dr. Lee Berk, director of Loma Linda University’s Clinical Molecular and Psychoneuro-immunology Research Laboratory, says his research has shown that mirthful laughter can affect the brain by producing gamma waves to levels similar to when a person meditates. Stress, the opposite of genuine, physiology-changing laughter, suppresses the immune system, speeds up the heart rate and produces detrimental stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

Laughter spurs positive emotions with beneficial results on the immune system, heart rate and brain. Busting a gut watching “Bridesmaids” for the 10th time could significantly reduce the output of detrimental stress hormones, and gamma wave brain frequency is changed, allowing for cleared, more focused thought.a laughter

Dark chocolate made from 70 percent cacao does the same thing!”

Dr. Berk goes on to say, “Clearly, lifestyle components, whether behavior or what we ingest, have a commonality in making us healthier. My perception was, if behavior can modulate brain frequency, why doesn’t food or the kinds of food you eat do the same thing? Home run.

Dark chocolate with high cacao content has long been believed to be a good source of flavonoids, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements that promote cardiovascular health. In addition, the flavonoids in chocolate are shown to affect intellect, enhance memory and recall, and the brain’s ability to reason.

Moreover it’s known to spur the “love or bliss hormone.” Eating healthy chocolate enhances serotonin, stimulates good endorphins and makes you feel better.”

This week’s focus is on the sound of happiness and amusement coming from you. And guilt free chocolate eating! But remember it has to be dark with high cacao content. I like mine with almonds. How about you? Here’s to mirthful laughter and bliss with a big bite of dark chocolate!

I LOVE feedback! Join my Facebook community on my FUN-damentals Fan Page.

WOW Word-Of-the-Week #79: Laughter

May 12, 2009 by · Comments Off on WOW Word-Of-the-Week #79: Laughter 

Laughter – to give audible expression to an emotion.

Dixie Lea 1944 - 2006

Dixie Lea 1944 - 2006

How often do you laugh? To me a laugh is one step beyond a giggle. Did you know that laughter has many benefits?

When it comes to reducing stress, they suggest you repeat your favorite joke. Watch a hilarious comedy. Read a funny book or magazine. Research suggests that laughing increases dopamine, the brain’s natural feel-good substance.

Don’t feel like laughing? Simply hearing laughter can help lift the black mood. Austrian researchers have depressed patients listen to a CD filled with giggles and chortles in addition to taking their medication. Those who listened showed significant improvement compared to those who went without the laugh track.

This week I want you to focus on laughing more. I get the newspaper specifically for the comic strips! Rent a funny movie. Come up with a funny joke you can tell at home or at work.

Every time you laugh you release dopamine. Notice how good you feel and how you are responding to any potentially negative situations that arise. Notice how your laughter reduces your stress.

Reader Responses

“I had a friend who had cancer. She was always in pain and she would watch a hilarious comedy to relieve her pain. It is so true that laughter is good for the soul. It is also catching. Have you ever been in a room with people laughing and all of a sudden you too began to laugh.” — Don Vance

” I believe if one can’t laugh, especially at oneself, then you’re really not living at all!” — Cathie Capolino

“Thanks for the input regarding laughter and dopamine. I was not aware there was a connection. When I get the chance I try to watch reruns of Seinfeld because the story lines and characters crack me up every time I watch them. Kristen and I will rent the occasional comedy for something to laugh at during the weekend. A good laugh really lifts the spirits and makes me forget about whatever minuscule problem I was worrying about that day.  While my wife does not like to watch The Three Stooges, I just have to laugh. Those shorts are as funny today as when they were first released. I can’t help but laugh at them. We all could use a good laugh – every day. Take care, Susan. Thank you. “Warrior”–Joe Moran.