Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

On Genistra: 9 Ways That Humor Heals

Check out my post “9 Ways That Humor Heals” on this cool site called They have everything over there. In case you forgot, here’s the first part. And you can go over there, if you want to read more.
Of all my tools to combat depression and negativity, humor is by far the most fun. And just like mastering the craft of writing, I’m finding that the longer I practice laughing at life–and especially its frustrations-the better I become at it, and the more situations and conversations and complications I can place into that category named “silly.” G. K. Chesterton once wrote: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” And Proverbs 17:22 says that “a happy heart is good medicine.” I’d add that human beings can heal (at least partially!) from a host of different illnesses if they learn how to laugh. Here are just a few ways our bodies, minds, and spirits begin to mend with a dose of humor.
1. Humor combats fear.
Humor disengages fear because it changes your perspective: of the past and of the present. We all would do well to follow the advice of Leo Buscaglia: “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. And swing!”
2. Humor comforts.
Charlie Chaplin once said, “To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” I suppose that’s why some of the funniest people out there–Stephen Colbert, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Art Buchwald–have journeyed through periods of torment. There is an unspoken message hidden within a chuckle-even the slightest cackle- that says this: “I promise, you’ll get through this.” Just like the comforting hug of your mom when you were three.
3. Humor relaxes.
Like any exercise, laughing relaxes you, and works against chronic stress that most Americans wear on the shoulder. Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., a heart surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, explains why this is so in a 2005 “Reader’s Digest” article: When you push any engine, including your body, to its maximum, every once in a while it slips a gear. The ways the body manifests that are: irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, and increased sensitivity to pain. When people use humor, the autonomic nervous system just tones down a bit to take it off high gear, and that allows the heart to relax.
4. Humor reduces pain.
“Humor rooms,” which encourage people to use humor in their recovery from any kind of illness, are now available in some hospitals. And science backs these efforts. In a study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing, humor very definitely seemed to diminish pain.
Read more from Genistra by clicking here.

  • SuzanneWA

    What a refreshing way to look at the GOOD that humor does!! I remember that Milton Berle said that “Laughter is a small vacation,” and the statistics seem to prove that that is true.
    I TRY to find the humor in the most dire of circumstances, just because that’s the way I fight the panic attacks and the going of “too high” in my manias. Believe it or not, being “hypomanic” can lead to trouble, but if I diffuse it with humor, it dissipates…
    Thank you, Therese, for this treatise on humor; we ALL need to be reminded of its benefits for the soul, as well as the body. And I enjoyed your “26th of Lent” “deserts” instead of “desserts!”
    Keep up the good work, as usual, and you will make it through the “desert” of Lent in VERY good shape!
    Your sister in Christ,

  • phyllis dearmond

    AWESOME Theresa! I just saw ur Blog on the other page talking bout Fear! WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY To go gurl!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks the encourgement, humor is a good thing and laughter
    is good medicine. I find that gazing at the beautiful clouds and
    soaking my feet in some warm bubbles in my foot bath helps
    calm me as well as reading the book of Psalms in the bible.
    Thanks Melinda from Columbia Md

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