The Gift of Laughter

Sharing one of the truths my mother taught me that you need 20 good laughs a day to be healthy.

My mother was a very wise woman. She told me you need to have 20 good laughs a day to be healthy, so I really try to do that even if it is at my own expense. Laughter is a gift that costs nothing monetarily and can give no only to ourselves, but to others we share it with. When someone is grumpy and everyone around them is laughing, it is very difficult to not “catch it” and laugh, too.

What do I laugh at?

I laugh at my favorite cartoons daily. The ones I like best are For Better or Worse, Family Circus, Pickles, Garfield and Zits. My father-in-law called the comics “Required reading”.

I laugh at the antics of our black lab and even more at our many cats and kittens. Watching the cats wrestle, jump over each other, stalk a wild turkey or squirrel, swing on the bird feeders, or attack a blade of grass puts me in giggles in a hurry. When I bring out the catnip, it is even funnier!

I laugh at situation comedies. My favorites are the old ones like Beverly Hillbillies, Golden Girls, Mayberry RFD, and Leave it to Beaver.

I laugh at Dumb Crook jokes. The one of the bank robber believing the bank was having a give away and signing up with her name, address and phone number leaves me in stitches.

I laugh at Erma Bombeck. She is my hero. She takes everyday living situations and makes them laugh-out-loud funny.

I laugh at my children. What 2 year old would think of putting peanut butter in my bowling ball to keep me from going bowling? What child would think the meatballs thawing on the counter was leftovers and feed them to the dogs? What can be funnier than watching 4 and 5 year olds learning to play T ball and running the wrong way, playing in the dirt or turning somersaults in the outfield?

I laugh at Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” stories and think of some of my own contributions.

I laugh because I am happy to be alive and able to go for a walk, do my own chores, and give to someone in need.

I laugh because my son who suffers from depression is having a good day and sharing a funny story with me or playing a game of Apples to Apples with me.

I laugh because I see a chubby baby.

I laugh because the store clerk has told me to “have a nice night” when I have just bought The Karma Sutra.

I laugh because my best friend is sharing a joyful experience with me.

What do you laugh at? What makes you happy? After my mom died and I was going thru a very rough time, I made a joy journal in a small spiral notebook I could carry in my purse. I wrote or pasted in things that made me laugh to help me get thru those dark days. I learned from my mother the same lessons many books are written about that “Laughter is the Best Medicine”

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  1. Yes! Learning to laugh can make life so much better.

  2. I grew up with the author and she lives by every word she has written. She always has a smile on face and a laugh in her voice. If anyone can make life better with laughter it is her.

  3. I feel like a day without laughing is a wasted day. Besides the everyday things that make me laugh (its impossible for me to not laugh when I see a smiling child), I like to find funny pictures on the internet and post them on my friends myspace pages. Its always funnier when shared.

  4. This is a great article, and very good advice. In todays trying times and the struggles most of us face on a daily basis just trying to afford to put gas in our cars or feed our children.This is something we can all do for ourselves to feel just a little better everyday.

  5. You know how they say that pets are good for out hearts? They really are, not only physically because they lower stress, but just watching a cat is calming. My cat makes me laugh too. Animals are funny. I could watch my cat all day and not be bored. I could watch the squirrels outside in my hard all day and not get tired. They are very fun to watch! I think anyone suffering depression, as long as they can care for a pet, should have one.

  6. Excellent advice, I’ve actually found that if I take a few minutes to watch or read something funny before I start my day, I am in a better mood for the rest of the day.

  7. This article was great. Made me smile while I was reading it. There is so much around us to make us laugh but so often we don’t take the time to “see” it. I have horses. There was a time I was irritated when they kept loosing their flymasks. One day I watched them…..they took off each others masks. Such a small thing but very laughable. All that time wasted being irritated when I could have been laughing! We need more articles like this to remind us to enjoy life.

  8. Nice article. There is nothing better than sitting in a boring office and opening up that hilarious email that your best friend just sent you. I try to laugh at everything. Just yesterday two of friends were in a heated argument, I told a joke(kinda mocking them), they laughed, and the argument was resolved.

  9. Your mom was right–that’s great advice! Chubby babies and my parents’ terrier make me laugh.

  10. As useful as laughter can be, in our society good moods and pleasantness is valued to exclusion. It is a right to be unhappy. Laughter can be contagious, but it can also be alienating.

    Heinlein wrote how, in Stranger in a Strange Land, Smith realizes that humor is an invention to cope with a harsh world. Basically, it is funny to laugh at people, and the funniest jokes are about cruel situations. Something to think about.

    I have one friend who makes me laugh a lot. We are both concerned with serious situations in the world, but his dark humor makes situations involving racism, child abuse, corruption of power, etc extremely funny.

  11. fabalous article with perfect advice. In todays scenario we most of the tims face problems gettign gas filled in our vehicles or basically giving food to our childrens.This is something we can all do for ourselves and we feel fresh .

  12. I totally agree with this article. In 2001, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The doctors told us then that attitude and laughter made a world of difference in how I would cope and get through the situation. Now, 7 years later, I am cured and still try to get in a few good laughs and thoughts each day!

  13. I laugh at situation comedies all the time. Thank goodness for TV Land and Threes Company!

  14. Yes, laughing really makes life a lot better. If you have to make yourself laugh, it really makes you stop and realize laughing feels a whole lot better than being unhappy. I especially loved and agreed with the comics and cats! I also enjoy both.

  15. Laughter is good especially when not at someone else but just for pure fun and sillyness.

  16. I agree with this article. Laughter lifts the spirits and soothes the soul. If you can find laughter, it seems like your day is so much better. It can lighten a dark day, make a new friend, help you through a tough situationa and even burns calories! Laughter is the medicine that should be taken universally daily!

  17. I have always followed a rule similar to the one you tell about, if I don’t have anything better than a laugh to do then I laugh. I would much rather laugh then not laugh so I do often and I feel much better for doing so.

  18. This article is excellent. We tend to overlook the power of happiness and laughter to cure us and keep us healthy. Laughter causes the body to release endorphins, which can be considered “nature’s anti-depressants”. People who laugh a lot tend to live longer. Think of all of the comedians who have lived to be over the age of 80. The prime example is George Burns, who lived to be 100. There are many more, including Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis, and Nipsy Russell. Laughter lowers blood pressure, eases depression, and makes your body relax. This costs much less than psychiatry, accupuncture or high blood pressure medication!! We should all take heed and try to laugh more.

  19. Excellent job! I believe as well that laughter should be a huge part of everyday life. I laugh all the time at the things my two shih-tzu’s do, at what my granddaughter does, at the things my husband and I share with each other at the end of our long days, etc. There are so many parts of life that are better when laughter is involved.

  20. This is so true! Whenever I feel down, I call a dear friend of mine because I know we will end up laughing before the conversation is over! We share what’s going on in our lives now, & reminiscence about fun we’ve had together.

  21. What a great article! I think it’s a fabulous idea to make a laugh journal, what a terrific thing for a time in need when you can’t seem to do anything but frown! I think I may have to use that idea. Jeff Foxworthy and other comedians are hilarious, I agree, but I think it’s the smaller things in life that really make a person’s day, for example what you said about your child. Darling!

  22. Totally agree. I truly believe that a whole hearted laugh can always make the most awful experiences seem less intimidating. Besides, they say you burn off calories when you laugh. Why not feel better, cheer up, and shed a few useless calories at the same time.

  23. Sometimes I see my dog do something hysterical or I see something funny on TV and I will really laugh out loud. The kind that is truly spontaneous. I often think that I haven’t done that in a while and that it really feels good so I try to remember that I need to do this more often – especially in the hard times many of us are going through.

  24. A good belly laugh is a great way to loose that belly and feel good all over. I try to laugh everyday even if nothing is funny.

  25. Funny, I just told someone today that “Laughter is the best medicine”. I have a 17mo old little boy so I laugh a-lot! Any time I need a pick me up all I need to do is play with my son, and he’ll have me hysterical in no time.

  26. The laughter created by my 2 yr old interacting with my cats is the best! I agree totally.

  27. I have a funny 3 yeard old and how can you not laugh when you have kids? Kids are the funniest people around. They say and do the funniest things! Laughter is good for the soul.

  28. did your 3 year old really put peanut butter in your bowling ball? my sister’s three year old wrote hearts, in crayon, all over the wall to show his mommy that he loved her. it made her cry, but i laughed!

  29. Sometimes the laughter induced by our children can last us a lifetme. When I’m feeling blue, I go back to one of those “funny” things and 99% of the time it evokes laughter. I remember my daughter and a bowl of spagetti when she was about 2. It was a mess, but oh was it funny. Laughter is good for the soul. My other half’s daughter was killed in a car accident a few years back and tho the memory of that still upsets him terribly, the momory’s of the silly things she did make him laugh.

  30. Laughter brings release of stress, I tickle my husband’s funny bone when I explode into laughter from a dead silence. He grins and says he loves to hear me laugh. I laugh with grandkids as we actively chase each other around and around to different rooms. I laugh with friends as we talk about our daily challenge to accomplish chores. And most of all, I laugh because I can

  31. I’m a grandmother now, but I still laugh at the oldest of my two girls who used to crawl in bed with me, lift my eyelids, and ask, “are you in there?” Or my youngest, hating eggs, used to protests strongly to eggs, stating she only liked hers “balled up”. I tried hard frying them, hard scrambling them, cutting into many little “balls”, and nothing worked. It wasn’t until one Easter when she was about 3-years-old and we were coloring Easter eggs that she exclaimed, “Yea, Mama! I like balled up eggs” that I realized she only liked boiled eggs. That still makes me laugh out loud.

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