…A TV can insult my intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer…It’s amazing how fast your mood can change when you step in water with socks on…Last night I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow.; when I woke up this morning, my pillow was gone…
I find these one-liners hilarious, not the slap-your-knee kind of funny, or roll-in-the-floor funny, but comical. It’s even funnier that you might not think they are funny at all, especially if I see your face when you read them and look at me like…Huh?
The week behind me was a week of spontaneous laughter, lots and lots of it, the kind that can’t be stopped, and just when you think you’re finally going to catch your breath, it starts all over again and escalates. A big thank-you to my comical comrades; you know who you are.
Laughter does the following: (1) lowers blood pressure; (2) helps the pituitary gland do its thing to combat pain; (The pituitary produces its own opiates?) (3) gives tummy, respiratory, facial, leg and back muscles a workout; (I was red like I had run 10 miles, and my face hurt, but I laughed with my legs, too?) (4) reduces stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline; After all, we need those for true fight or flight situations, not daily life. (5) helps disease-killing cells do their jobs; (Norman Cousins and his Anatomy of an Illness.) (6) defends against respiratory infections and may reduce the frequency of colds; (7) boosts learning; (According to a John Hopkins study, humor during instruction leads to increased test scores. Wonder if common core was part of the research? Ain’t nothin’ funny about that.) (8) makes you feel better, probably because for the duration, life’s troubles recede; (9)improves sleep; (Yep, every night has been an all-nighter – 7 to 8 hours without a bathroom break.) (10) improves alertness, creativity and memory, according to William Fry, MD – Stanford University
Brain functioning is fascinating in its response to humor. In less than *half a second after hearing something funny, an electrical impulse moves through the cerebral cortex. The left hemisphere analyzes the words and structure, the right hemisphere then ‘gets’ it. The visual sensory part creates a picture in the mind’s eye, the emotional center makes you happier, then the motor section makes you laugh.
Melissa Breyer, blogger of laughing benefits, mentioned A Better Brain At Any Age: The Holistic Way to Improve Your Memory, Reduce Stress, Sharpen Your Wits (S. Kornblatt) I may have to check that out.
Did you know that you can look up laughing videos on YouTube? And that there is laughing yoga? Lots of ways to increase the laughs in your life. How do you get a sweet old lady up in years to say the f-word? Get another sweet old lady up in years to yell “Bingo!”
*About that half-second. I seem to have a glitch in the wiring. Sometimes, just now and then, I don’t catch on quite that fast, which makes it funnier to others. What’s with that?
This was written for the 9/30/15 issue of my hometown weekly, the Prospect-News.