Laughter: The Best Medicine

I just finished reading the August 2009 edition of Ode Magazine. The entire issue is devoted to laughter. In these tough times, what a wonderful idea.

It’s been said that laughter is good for the soul. It’s good for your body, as well. A hearty belly laugh gets your lymph system flowing; it produces endorphins in your brain, which help to block pain and stress; it reduces the levels of cortisol (you’ve seen ads on TV about belly fat produced from excess levels of cortisol); it’s been linked to the reduction of inflammation (leading to heart attacks, arthritis, allergies and other health problems) and can slow the progression of kidney disease. Best of all, you burn more calories laughing!

I have a friend who constantly forwards jokes via email. No matter how busy I am, I make it a point to read at least one each day. Some elicit just a chuckle, others make me laugh ’til I cry. No matter, I’ve laughed at least once and the day isn’t nearly as stressful.

So, instead of making lemonade when life hands you lemons, start a food fight! You can laugh as you clean up the mess, helping your soul and your body at the same time.

To get you started, here’s a joke from that issue:

A rabbi, a Lutheran pastor and a Zen monk walk into a bar. “Hey, what is this, some kind of joke?” the bartender asks.