Laughter is the best medicine-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
SOUNDS familiar huh? It’s an old saying which almost everybody can agree with. We often laugh at funny things; laugh at humorous real life situations; laugh at other people’s trying hard jokes and super cute effects. Sometimes we shout and laugh at our own problems and sometimes people around us think we are crazy. But you know laughter is truly beneficial to our health. Just the usual ha-ha-ha mixed with a smile will relax our muscles.
Dr. Buffington in his book, “Your Behavior” stated, “Laughter simultaneously exercises the physical and nervous systems.”
Psychologically, a good guffaw exercises the lungs and invigorates the circulatory system. Strong laughter also prompts complete action of the diaphragm. When this happens, the entire cardiovascular system is stimulated and the oxygen level is increased in the blood.”
“So you see, laughter is a type of internal jogging. As you laugh, your entire body gets a super workout. Evidence suggests that laughter sends a message to the brain requiring that it produce more alertness hormones (catecholamines). The release of these stimulates secretion of the body’s own pain killers (endorphins) and the perception of pain decreases,” Buffington added.
I personally experienced this. I had hypertension stage one and could not move my whole body for a while. But people around me started telling funny stories and friendly jokes. Right at that moment when I laughed, a foot moved and other parts of my body followed. That laugh helped me prevent a mild stroke.
As such I believe that laughter is the best inexpensive medicine. Fortunately, laughter is instinctive that nobody teaches us or even an infant how to laugh. Laughter is our shield against the stresses of a work day. Lose yourself in laughter and you forget, at least temporarily, what’s troubling you. Psychologically, says Dr. Buffington, laughter makes our muscles go limp and relax – a state which lasts for the next 45 minutes from the last ha of ha-ha-ha. Isn’t that great?
Laughter, too, is a divine attribute .The benefits of laughter are recognized even in religious circles. An Associated Press report said that laughter is now “welcome in the pulpit and in the pews” in the US and other parts of the world. This is nothing new to Christians, who are expressive and jolly. There are groups of clergy and priests who now use jokes in sermons and cartoons in religious bulletins. Muhammad and Jesus preached joy and not sorrow. “A merry heart does you good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries your bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
But the laughter of a fool is a different thing, which Ecclesiastes 7:6 says, is vanity. Emperor Nero laughed and sang while Rome burned. Aren’t we reminded of 20th century Nero-like cranks who laugh and wallow in ill-gotten wealth while the masses get even more deprived? This is true in our time, the laughter of the despots, the corrupt, cheaters, druglords, rapists, terrorists and evil men who laugh at the miseries of others.
Most bad jokes nowadays depict grim subjects as recession, violence and criminality, drug addiction, sickness and health, dirty politics and bureaucracy and marriage. In the Philippines alone, it’s a cinch that the preferred jokes are on politics, sex and marriage.
Laughter is in the hand of God or Allah helping us lift the burdens from our shoulders. Laughter is for our goodness. Laughter can save us from becoming crazy in this irrational and cruel world.
So come on laugh, we are people of great sense of humor and there’s nothing wrong if we laugh at our foibles and weaknesses. So just say ha-ha-ha and the world will be fun to live in again. Remember, laughter is the best medicine.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 18, 2013.