What would the world be like without humor? Well, it certainly wouldn’t take a brain surgeon to recognize there’d be a lot less laughing and smiling! Humor has the means and ability to power a healthy lifestyle. Besides being a well-known communication tool, it’s a skill that can be honed and learned over time with practice. Go ahead…try incorporating humor into your daily constitution. Use it to lighten up the day, find common ground with others, and express your uniqueness. Besides, humor also has health benefits. When’s the last time a good belly laugh made you feel bad?
A Reason To Laugh
A businessman was sitting in a swanky hotel bar having a drink. Just him and the bartender were in the establishment. After a few minutes of enjoying his beer and peanuts, the man heard a faint whisper that said, ”Hey, nice tie.” The man turned around but saw no one.
A short time passed and the man heard another whisper, “Love your elegant shirt.” A bit later, the eerie whisper intoned, “That sure is a beautiful suit.” Bewildered, the man scanned the bar after each comment but couldn’t see anyone.
Finally, the bemused patron summoned the barkeep and asked him about the nice but ghostly whispers he kept hearing about his clothing. “Oh, not to worry.” said the bartender. “It’s….”
The very thought of the infinite number of possible humorous answers that bar scene implies makes your facial smile muscles tense with anticipation. You are just ready to find a reason to laugh. The mind runs through a short list of potential answers that fit your personality, lifestyle, and humor.
As they say in golf, “Every shot makes somebody happy, especially when it’s bad.” Well, every joke makes somebody happy, especially when it matches your view of life. In this tension-filled world, a little humor is a big deal since it sprinkles a few rose petals along your daily path.
There are proven physical, medical, and psychological benefits to incorporating more humor into your life. Whether you radiate humor or whether you simply absorb it, humor acts as an emotional antioxidant. Comedy gives temporary relief to the troubled mind and cleanses the soul. That’s why comedy TV shows and movies are so popular; they transport people into another time and dimension outside the common humdrum of normal life.
A bit of hilarity is especially important for seniors since we need a good laugh every day to keep our spirits lively and our hearts aflutter. An apple-a-day is nice, but a hearty laugh works wonders for the body and psyche. Doctors now assert that laughter actually lowers stress hormones while enhancing the growth of immune cells and antibodies. A good chuckle can also trigger increased endorphins that promote a sense of well-being and temporarily offer pain relief.
Extensive medical studies on seniors indicate that laughing also promotes longer life. Laughing exercises many of the same muscles the body uses during regular exercise. Embracing humor validates the age-old belief that laughter is the heart of healthy living.
Bottom Line: There ain’t no downside to having a good chortle.
Don’t be afraid to tell a joke or two around friends and family. Take time to learn a few jokes by searching the net because it’s fun to find, print, and memorize a few jokes you think are funny. Practice telling your jokes in private, perhaps in front of a mirror. This approach imparts the confidence needed to relate the joke at the right time and place. Confidence allows you to relax and make a smooth presentation.
Believe me; all the best comedians rehearse their material for hours. A starry-eyed young comic named David Letterman once asked a New York City cabbie how to get to Carnegie Hall. Replied the sage taxi driver, “Practice, practice, practice.”
Aside from engaging in periodic slapstick, another approach to having a healthy and productive retirement is finding that elusive Silver Lining in every dark cloud. Adopting such a strong positive attitude gives you the emotional strength to manage many of life’s travails and setbacks. Pessimism is the biggest killer of folks living in their Golden Years so you must avoid it at all costs.
Optimists live longer because they can look at a pile of horse manure and say, “Hey, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.” Figuratively speaking, that is.
The confidence gained by telling a few jokes also helps you think large and take charge. Confident and relaxed people take more positive control of their environment and circumstances. Self-assurance helps you make timely decisions and tackle problems head-on instead of avoiding them (they never disappear). Confident people walk tall, command attention, and relate well to others. That’s all to the good side of the social ledger.
Of course, there’s no point in telling jokes if you squander their benefits by not having a proper diet and shunning meaningful exercise. Your body needs proper nutrition and muscle tone to carry itself around the block, theater, weekly coffee klatch, and dance floor. It’s no fun having to struggle to get around town so make sure to incorporate regular exercise in your schedule.
Tomorrow is the best time to join the local gym since it offers a wide range of machines that cover all your needs. Hire a private exercise trainer to help craft a regimen that’s customized just for you. That approach also helps keep a regular schedule and limits some of your lame excuses for lazing on the couch instead of walking on the treadmill.
The benefits of joining a gym are manifold. Not only does the body get its needed exercise, you’ll also meet more like-minded people in your age group. Exercise groups and gyms are a great way to expand your circle of friends, for sure.
And stop eating donuts, cakes, and cookies! Have apples, carrots, and old-fashioned oatmeal instead. Take time to learn about the health benefits of consuming antioxidants like blueberries and other dark-skinned fruit.
HOT TIP: Start adding a teaspoon of unsweetened 100% cocoa powder to your coffee and cereal every day; it’s one of the most powerful antioxidant superfoods in the world (Google it). If you must have chocolate, make sure you eat the dark variety with at least 75% cocoa. Remember, antioxidants good; sugar bad.
Believe it or not, the confidence gained by laughing more and adopting a positive attitude actually makes you more handsome or prettier. That’s right folks, thinking you’re handsome tends to make you handsome because people will view you in a better light. Believing you are pretty creates a self-fulfilling lifestyle that is more powerful and effective than any new dress or boxes full of expensive shoes.
Why? Because beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And the most important beholder is…YOU
Joke punch line: “Oh, not to worry.” said the bartender. “It’s the peanuts; they’re complimentary.”
Michael Hervey is a freelance writer who lives in Los Gatos, California.
He graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in Political Science and worked in a Wall Street bank before setting off on a life of discovery and adventure. He joined the United States Marines, attained the rank of Captain, was a fixed-wing/helicopter pilot, and a Squadron Legal Officer. He also held senior sales positions in the semiconductor, software, and wireless industries
Harold has written seven (7) eBooks on travel, food, and business plus numerous articles and blogs about lifestyles, current events, and politics.