Keep Your Funny Side Up
The gift of laughter is probably the most potent medicine
ever prescribed by man. Ask Norman Cousins. Laughter literally
helped save the life of the eminent lecturer, author, and editor.
Suffering form a painful, paralyzing disease, Cousins claims her reverted the
condition by checking into a hotel and consuming large doses of vitamins and laughter. Confined to bed and barely
able to move, he watched "Candid Camera" film clips and old Marx
"Healthy laughter actually fortified my body against
pain," he said. "It have me two hours of pain-free, pill-free
sleep." Just ten minutes of solid belly laughter brought relief.
Encouraged by this laugh therapy experiment, he stopped taking medications and
with this physician's approval began ingesting massive amounts of Vitamin C.
Within a few months, reported Cousins, he had returned to a healthy state.
For Victor Frankly, as for Norman Cousins, laughter literally
proved a lifesaver. The famed psychiatrist, who founded the logo therapy
method f treating mental illness, survived the horrors of World War II Nazi
concentration camp by using humor. He and a fellow sufferer devised a
system to save their sanity. Each day they forced themselves to invent and
tell each other an amusing anecdote.
Humor is not so much in the situation as in the eye of the
beholder. "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are
everywhere," points out Dr. Seuss, mirth-maker extraordinary, who's kept
generations of kids (and their parents) in stitches because of his books. Look
for the laughable in your life.
Throughout the days be your own best comic. Make
yourself laugh by recalling amusing incidents and making up jokes to amuse
friends. Carry a joke book with you to ease tense moments. While
waiting in line or hanging on for a tardy phone call, read away your irritation.
Take a laugh break at work instead of a coffee break. Humor is healthier
Tickle your funny bone as often as possible. Linger
over light verse. Those of us who daily experience the miracle of laughter
agree with William D. Ellis that humor is a most effective means of coping with
life's difficulties. "It can be used for patching up differences,
getting the other fellow to do what you want without losing face," say
Ellis. "Humor is an agent of psychological liberation", adds
psychologist Harvey Mindress, fundamental to mental health. "To savor the
ridiculous in life and to laugh at ourselves and our troubles is an asset of the
greatest magnitude. It represents a source of vitality and a means of
transcendence second to none." No wonder he who laughs, lasts.
Mar/April 1981, Vol. 9, No. 4
Let's Cheer Magazine (In Motion)