Scientists have done studies on humor and the body. They proved that laughter is healing. It's one of the best stress reducers on the market. They did one study where they had people hold their hand in ice water (painful) while watching either a funny show or a serious show. They endured the pain much longer while watching the comedy.

Laughter can lower a person's heart rate, blood pressure and sensitivity to pain. It also improves the immune system. Doctors use it in cancer treatment regimens and have found patients recover faster and with less side effects from the chemotherapy.

Humor diffuses fear. You can't be scared and laugh at the same time. It's healthy to make jokes when yo are afraid. Jerry Seinfeld once said, “According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

Humor normalizes a bad situation. If you can laugh at it, you can survive it. Humor puts the situation in perspective. So next time something upsets you, laugh at it. Have you heard? Right now the economy is so bad that I got a pre-declined credit card in the bank. And CEO's are playing miniature golf. And I went to the bank and it said "insufficient funds." Did they mean me, or them?

Humor is relaxing. The next time you get bad news or are overloaded with stress, try watching something funny on the internet. The more you laugh, the more relaxed you will be afterwards.

Do you want to decrease pain, depression and anxiety? Do you want to increase your immune system and  your sleep?

One simple prescription: humor.

 

On a related note:

NPR reports humor researcher Richard Wiseman, as reported in Scott Weems' fascinating new book "Ha! The Science of When we Laugh and Why", set out to discover the "funniest joke in the world." He collected 40,000 jokes and had 15 million people rank them. This is what he discovered to be the funniest joke:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says, "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence; then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"

You can read more about this here:  http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2014/03/07/287250640/what-is-the-funniest-joke-in-the-world

PS: What's brown and sticky?

 

Answer: A stick.