This article is for laughs and not for laughs.  It is also serious. The brilliant Dr. Mercola just pointed out how important laughter is for your health.  (If you go to his article, I recommend his daily newsletter and searching his site for health issues).

This isn’t the first time I have heard of the value of laughter.  There was a guy (I can’t remember his name) who had advanced cancer. He decided for some reason that he could laugh his way out of it. He did beat the cancer and wrote a book about it!

There are two ways to look at laughter. First, it does a lot of good. Second and what is possibly as important is what it displaces. In this guy’s cancer case, he filled his head with humor watching comedy movies. He crowded out worry, anger and feeling sorry for himself. It must have helped a lot.

He probably created what is called the “Relaxation Response”(Herbert Benson). The human body’s immune system is at its best when relaxed and feel good emotions fill it. Stress is the opposite and it can ruin health.

Before I go on I want to point out that this is in no way advice to use laughter alone to cure anything. It will help with proper treatment. It will help you stay healthy with proper lifestyle.

As Dr. Mercola pointed out most laughter is not at really funny things. We laugh because we enjoy interacting with friends and family. Many studies show that those who have many friends and good family are among the healthiest. It even helps to counteract negatives like being sedentary, overweight and other no-no’s.

The cultures with the longest living and most centenarians are all close knit. The traditional Okinawans, a subgroup of the Japanese who lead the world in centenarians, live simple lives where they grew up and know each other for decades. Some centenarians may have been friends all their lives! They care about each other and share meals with each other. They laugh together. Maybe they live the “relaxation response”.

Babies, kids, dogs and cats are good sources of laughter. They don’t have to be that funny, but they earn laughs anyway. So are friends and group activites.

There is even laughter yoga. Watch this video it is only about 1 ½ minutes.

Anytime you need a lift go to this oldie but goodie Youtube classic less than 2 minutes long (you can skip over the ad). It’s had almost 70 million visits. Youtube is loaded with laughter stuff with babies, dogs, cats etc. When you need a lift go there!

Bob Hope and George Burns saw humor in everything. They both lived to 100. It is alleged that Bob Hope was asked as he approached 100: “When your days are over, do you want to be buried or cremated? To which he said, “Surprise me.”

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