Tag Archives: joy

Is laughter really the best medicine for retirees?

Have you had a good laugh today? Since biblical times,man has realized that laughter is a good thing. Proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones”

Studies done through the years tell us that humor and the act of laughing have a positive impact on our immune system.According to Enid Schwartz ” the following effects have been documented: increases in natural killer T cell activity…decreases in the body’s production of cortisol”. High levels of Cortisol decreases the bodies ability to fight off diseases.

Norman Cousins ( 1979) shared that humor and laughter helped him to control his pain as he recovered from Ankylosing Spondylitis – a very painful disorder.He said that 10 minutes of belly laughter took his pain away for about 2 hours each time.

In health care today, there is an ongoing effort to add humor as a way to help patients and families cope more successfully with their healthcare challenges. This is true even with life threatening diseases such as cancer. Health care personnel are being taught to find appropriate ways to encourage patients to decrease their stress through laughter.

Why is it that children laugh more easily that adults? While children laugh about 400 times daily, adults are less spontaneous in their ability to laugh.

baby-433093_1280 (1)

Is it that we become so caught up with the stress of life that we no longer feel the need to laugh?

Could it be that we don’t realize the enormous benefits of laughing at ourselves, or at some of the challenges of life?

Someone said..laugh and the world laughs with you.

One of the joys of my retirement is the time that I spend with my two grand children.They certainly spice up my life with the funny and unpredictable things that they say and do. For them,every day is a joyful day, especially when they play together!

They find such joy out of life! They run, and jump and play, and just put their whole heart into whatever they do.

My personal feeling is, that we should take a page out of their book during our retirement years.

While we might not be as carefree as a small child, we can however look for more enjoyment out of life!

Granted life has some serious challenges, and somber moments, yet if we celebrate the smallest achievement,and find joy in our daily blessings, we might be able to laugh more.

Experts tell us that cheerful people are better able to successfully manage their healthcare. For example, they may take their medications as prescribed while unhappy people tend to do the opposite.

It is also said that happy people tend to live longer, more satisfying lives.

It is also a fact that humor tends to bond people together.Have you ever found yourself smiling just because someone else was smiling?

Even if you make yourself smile,it is still affects your emotions and puts you in a happy mood.

As with anything else in life there are cautions to consider. Laughter can be inappropriate in certain settings such as – laughing at someone else’s expense, or using laughter to belittle someone, or the use of hurtful ethnic jokes, and sarcastic humor.

In summary, we can all benefit from using laughter in our daily lives.This is especially true for those of us in our retirement years. Since laughter has a positive impact on our health, and it is free,let us use it liberally.

Do you have any comments on the impact of laughter in your life? If so, please share it.

Hanna