Laughter IS the Best Medicine!

It’s Wednesday. Have you seen that GEICO Insurance ad about being happier than a camel on Wednesday? He’s my favourite and I’ve contributed substantially to the 21 million views, I’m sure! If you haven’t watched it you should, so hear you go:

Last night I went to a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event and took one of my good friends as my guest. We drove the 20 minutes, chatted and enjoyed each other’s company, then tried to find parking. That’s enough to take the laugh right out of you sometimes! On our way into the conference centre I began to undo my jacket, and as I did my friend grabbed my arm and gasped. I thought something was really wrong, but it was simply because we’d worn the same outfit unknowingly. I’d bought mine the day before, she bought hers yesterday. In our 30 year friendship nothing like that has ever happened. We laughed so hard – and I left my coat on! Sharing the story with our table mates got some laughter going too.

A few weeks ago our General Manager and I read an email that had us laughing to the point other staff came and closed her door because it was so distracting! We cried, laughed hysterically and uncontrollably. It felt great to enjoy the moment. It’s also created a memory that neither of us will forget.

Why do I share these goofy stories? Research has now proven the effects a sense of humour and laughter have on on the outcome of many health concerns. It’s infectious, it’s contagious and it instantly reduces stress levels and breaks tension. How can that not improve our well being or heal our souls? It’s so interesting – and utterly amazing – how we are created, how intricately all our parts intertwine. Triggering hormones into our bodies, laughter is our own natural feel-good chemical.

Did you know that enjoying a sense of humour and allowing ourselves pitch a fit (of laughter of course) increases blood flow, thereby assisting our heart and blood vessels with their task of keeping our cardiovascular systems in tact? Pretty cool stuff. If you require more in depth proof of the funny bone phenomenon, you can read this article by Dr. McGhee, M.D.

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” Dr. Paul E. McGhee, Humour Research Pioneer

One of the best ways to diffuse a tense situation or conflict is to find the humour in it. While I’m not suggesting a good giggle in inappropriate situations, there are definitely times we just need to bust a gut and let go of that built up frustration!

Go ahead, laugh. A lot.

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Shandra Carlson

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