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Here’s Why Humor Really IS The Best Medicine

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

How many of us have heard this saying and lump it in the same category of “proven science” as “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down?”

Go ahead, laugh at it. It’s good for you!

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It’s true. Laughing is actually good for your health. It creates connection, it stirs us from the inside out, it even strengthens your immune system.  When we look for the laughter in life – whether it’s laughing at a movie, giggling with a friend, or chuckling at ourselves, we can actually put ourselves on the path to improved health, joy, and even purpose. 

There are plenty of articles you can google to learn about the health benefits of laughter.  A good belly laugh can replenish us emotionally,psychologically, spiritually, and yes, even physically by boosting immunity, combatting stress, and alleviating chronic pain.

I’ll leave you to do the research.  You can search the internet, or you can become your own research subject. Laugh and see what happens.

Laughter and Me: A (pretty funny) Story of Survival

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Over ten years ago, I had no choice but to become my own research subject.  When a coma literally changed my world overnight just after I had received my college acceptance letters, I woke up in a strange, scary new world.  I chose to laugh at fear, because the true terror of my situation – a situation that was completely out of my control, as doctors fought to save my life – was too overwhelming to worry over.  In a situation that I could do nothing to help, humor was all I had.  Humor was my way of finding joy in the cards I was dealt.  Once I chose to laugh at my fear, I became larger than it.  When I became larger than my fear, I was instantly empowered with a newfound sense of identity.  

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How did I find humor stuck in the surgical ICU for nearly a year? Oh, to plenty of ways. My brothers and I made up songs.  We set up plastic cups in the unit hallways to go “bowling.”  We broke out of the unit on thrilling wheelchair “rollercoaster rides.” I also caused a few other antics, which I share in my TEDx Talk.

The Super-Secret Humor Helpers…

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But it wasn’t just me who was laughing. Often, it takes others to put a smile on your face in difficult circumstances.  And when I was stuck at Columbia Presybterian, I was greeted nearly every day by crazy mimes, clowns playing ukeleles, and friendly hospital staff making lightness where they could.  I’ve always wanted to find those people who brightened such dark times and personally thank them.
The Biggest helper of all…

I think the biggest way I can thank the people that came into my life “just for laughs” is to remember that there is always a spin I can put on a situation to make me smile. A deep laugh from your belly is one of the best feelings in the world. It can forms amazing connections. It creates a friendly vibe in the room. Who knows – it could make you feel a lot better. Not sure?

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There’s only one way to find out…

Just kidding. Seriously.

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Amy will be presenting at this year’s Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor 27th Annual Conference, The Holiday Inn Orlando, located in the Walt Disney World® Resort,
All artwork created by Amy “just playin’ around” in her art studio.  Catch Amy touring her award-winning one-woman musical,Gutless & Grateful, to theatres, colleges, conferences and organizations nationwide, and in NYC this year.  You can also watch her TEDx Talk, , and learn about her mixed media art, speaking, and upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour at www.amyoes.com.

humor is the best medicine

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