Laugh Your Way To Wellness

Tell The Truth

Have you laughed today? If I take an honest assessment, I have to admit I haven’t. 

I’ve been told I have a good sense of humor, but where did it go? Did I leave it in the glovebox? Is it hiding in my Netflix account? 

I wouldn’t care except that I keep reading articles about the power of laughter to heal, and I mean both physically and psychologically. In a research article by B.L. Seaward, she describes humor as having “long term effects that strengthen the power of the immune system”.

Worked For Him

A case in point is the story of Norman Cousins, author of Anatomy of an Illness. After being diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, he checked himself into a hotel and spent his days, among other things, watching comedies. He essentially shielded himself from stress and spent his days pursuing laughter. 

Although unorthodox, he had the support of his physician. The good news is he gradually recovered. He credited positive thinking and laughter as an important part of his cure. He even had funny movies brought into his hospital room.


A book I read eons ago still packs a punch…or should I say a punchline. Dr. Bernie Seigel, M.D. wrote Love, Medicine, and Miracles. In it, he describes exceptional patients who experienced healing through humor, positive thinking, and visualization. If you haven’t read it, it’s an empowering read!

Personally, my greatest source of laughter comes from watching funny sitcoms. I have no idea how people develop their sense of humor, but I’m guessing it’s from a relative you grew up with…probably one or both parents. So, next time you want to blame your parents for something, instead, you can thank them for your sense of humor. Tell that to your therapist.

As a 9th grade civics teacher, I once had a student who loved to crack jokes while I was conducting discussions about the government…in other words, trying to teach. As a result, I agreed to give him the last 5 minutes of class to do his stand- up routine. It was a win-win.

Fast Forward To The Present

These days, I get my dose of humor by watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond, FriendsFrazier, and standup on cable.

I refuse to watch murders, crime shows, or anything designed to keep me up at night. It fuels my insomnia, and life is scary enough. I don’t need scary television downloads, or scary movies, for that matter. I won’t pay to be scared!

Recently, I read a quote by Karen Madewell worth keeping. “Laughter is the key to youth.”

As a baby boomer, I say, “That quote is definitely a keeper!”