Did you hear about the dyslexic Satanist? He sold his soul to Santa.
How do you get holy water? Boil the hell out of it.
Teacher: Did your father help you with your homework?
Student: No, he did it all by himself.
PUPIL: “Would you punish me for something I didn’t do?”
TEACHER:” Of course not.”
PUPIL: “Good, because I haven’t done my homework.”
What do sick birds need? Tweetment.
Did you laugh at any of them? They’re so stupid they’re funny.
My mother loved to laugh. That can be said of many mothers, certainly. People in general. Who doesn’t love to laugh?
Once one of my sisters and I were spending the night at our mother’s house. It was a dark and stormy night – ok – so it wasn’t dark and stormy – I made that up for effect – it was one of those nights when after the second glass of wine you are aghast to realize you ran out of cheese puffs. My mother didn’t drink so she was our driver. We lived out in the sticks, as it was affectionately deemed, and so craved that cheesy goodness we were willing to brave a twenty minute drive to the nearest junk food purveyor. My mother waited in the car while my sister and I palmed the $20 she handed us, and skipped merrily to the store.
Junk food in hand, our fingers already crusted orange with cheese puff dust, and the car, and therefore our mother, was nowhere to be seen. It was not a large parking lot. She had maneuvered the car behind one of those massive pickup trucks that make you stare at the guy who drives it; c’mon you know what I mean.
Anyway, there we were, Dumb & Dumber, our mouths hanging open, our cheesy fingers poised in midair. The minutes ticked by until finally she’d had her fun, and she flashed the lights. She was giggling like a teenager, barely able to squeak: “You should have seen the look on your faces.” We were all laughing so hard the tears streamed.
We didn’t think about it at the time, of course, but we had provided our bodies with a jolt of good health. A damn fine thing too, as we balanced out the damage we did with the cheese puffs.
The benefits of laughter are well documented. Endorphins are released in droves, those all-important chemicals that, among other things, dull physical pain and mediate psychological stress. Endorphins create that “buzz” that occurs as a result of running, swimming, and yoga.
I’m a yoga addict. I go to class 3-4 times a week. I found that illusive exercise regimen we all strive to find, one that we want to stick with. My preference is for the athletic version, Ashtanga and Iyengar, over the more meditative options. Recently, I discovered yet another brand, Laughter Yoga which made me laugh imagining what the class might be like.
It is the invention of Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India who has become known as the Guru of Giggling, and that is about all one needs to know to start off giggling. He calls his invention Laughter Clubs. They are wildly proliferating. Laughter is contagious, and these clubs provide the evidence. 6000 clubs operate in 60 countries.
The body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. Did you know that? I didn’t. The physiological and psychological benefits are the same. Fake it until you make it, Dr. Kataria encourages. In group dynamics, using eye contact and miming childlike behaviors, the “clubs” evolve into a chorus of laughter to rival the audience at a Jerry Seinfeld or Chris Rock concert.
All that said I find the concept a bit odd. Though I would try it, at least once, if a Laughter Club finds its way to my area. What’s not to like about laughing for an hour?
Laughter is the glue in good marriages. It brings people together. Laughter synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so they are emotionally attuned. It improves job performance, particularly if the work requires creativity and solving complex problems.
Make laughter a priority. The action helps your blood vessels function better. It causes them to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. It’s good for your heart. In a study of 20 healthy people provoking laughter did as much good for their arteries as aerobic activity. Though that is not a doctor’s release from exercise. Laugh while you exercise. Bonus.
In our contentious times more laughter is what is required. Health care costs increase by the hour. We can laugh all the way to bankruptcy court when our health insurance company denies our claim. Laugh.
Laughter might be our best preventative defense of our mental and physical health. And it doesn’t cost us a penny.
Please allow me to offer you a couple of places to start off your daily dose of laughter.
Visit this blog for a laugh a day. Susannah is a very talented writer. She will have you laughing out loud by the first paragraph. Click that link and laugh your you know what off…
Last but not least, here is a 2 minute video by one of my favorite comedians, Brian Regan. He riffs on yoga. Hilarious. Enjoy.