Finger Lakes Senior Living

Why Laughter is the Best Medicine

According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal) when asked to describe what constitutes successful aging, elderly people mention a sense of humor as one of the most important virtues. https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/351005  We’ve all heard the adage “Laughter is good medicine.”  That’s because humor improves mental functions, mental alertness, memory, and interpersonal responsiveness.  In fact, Laughter Therapy or Humor Therapy is an alternative treatment for stress and depression as well as chronic pain – a great option for those who would prefer to avoid or limit their use of pharmaceuticals.

What the Mayo Clinic Has to Say

A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

 

Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

So, for the sake of our health, let’s have a good belly laugh in response to the jokes below.  You’ll find more at https://www.elderoptionsoftexas.com/jokes.htm

 

Clean Jokes to Share with Friends

The local news station was interviewing an 80-year-old lady because she had just gotten married for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband’s occupation.. “He’s a funeral director,” she answered. “Interesting,” the newsman thought… He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.

She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years. After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she had first married a banker when she was in her 20’s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s, and a preacher when in her 60’s, and now – in her 80’s – a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained, “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go.”

***

Last year, I replaced all the windows in my house with those expensive double pane energy efficient kinds. But this week, I got a call from the contractor complaining that his work had been completed a whole year and I had yet to pay for them.

Boy, oh boy, did we go around! Just because I’m blonde doesn’t mean that I am automatically stupid. So, I proceeded to tell him just what his fast-talking sales guy had told me last year. He said that in one year, the windows would pay for themselves. There was silence on the other end of the line, so I just hung up, and he hasn’t called back. Guess he was embarrassed.

***

Two elderly women were eating breakfast in a restaurant one morning. Ethel noticed something funny about Mabel’s ear and she said, “Mabel, did you know you’ve got a suppository in your left ear? ” Mabel answered, “I have a suppository?” She pulled it out and stared at it. Then she said, “Ethel, I’m glad you saw this thing. Now I think I know where my hearing aid is.”

***

A guy is reading his paper when his wife walks up behind him and smacks andim on the back of the head with a frying pan. He asks, “What was that for?” She says, “I found a piece of paper in your pocket with ‘Betty Sue’ written on it.” He says, “Jeez, honey, remember last week when I went to the track? ‘Betty Sue’ was the name of the horse I went there to bet on.” She shrugs and walks away.

Three days later he’s reading his paper when she walks up behind him and smacks him on the back of the head again with the frying pan. He asks, “What was that for?” She answers, “Your horse called.”

***

A man buys a parrot and brings him home. But the parrot starts insulting him and gets really nasty, so the man picks up the parrot and tosses him into the freezer to teach him a lesson. He hears the bird squawking for a few minutes, but all of a sudden the parrot is quiet. The man opens the freezer door, the parrot walks out, looks up at him and says, “I apologize for offending you, and I humbly ask your forgiveness.”

The man says, “Well, thank you. I forgive you.”

The parrot then says, “If you don’t mind my asking, what did the chicken do?”

***

An older couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went  into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were  talking, and one said,

“Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would  recommend it very highly.” The other man said, “What is the name of the  restaurant?”

The first man thought and thought and finally said, “What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know… the  one that’s red and has thorns.” “Do you mean a rose?” “Yes, that’s the one,” replied the man.

He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, “Rose,  what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last  night?”

For additional reading and for sources cited above:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-06-2011/laughter-health.html

 

For more from Virginia Tortorici, click here.

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