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When was the last time you really laughed? A no-holds-barred, uncontrollable belly laugh?
Or pulled a friendly prank on a friend?
Or told a cornball Knock Knock joke?
If it’s been a while, we have just what the doctor ordered (or should have): 5 ways you can “age right” with more humor and laughter.
Advice From a Legendary Prankster
Norman Cousins, the esteemed, longtime editor of the Saturday Review was also a legendary April Fool’s Day prankster. His magnum opus just may be the day he sent a fake notice to his fellow editors that 300,000 copies of the magazine were just printed…upside down!
Laughter helped Norman through a serious and painful illness.
In the Washington Post article, “Norman Cousins, Still Laughing,” Norman describes how he came to make the “joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep.”
Think about that…two hours of pain free sleep. Just from laughing a lot.
Cousins wrote about the other benefits of laughter in what became his most widely read article, “Anatomy of an Illness (As Perceived by the Patient),” published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Laughter is a Powerful Healer
Medical professional know that for many patients, laughter can decrease pain, lower adrenaline and cortisol levels; boost endorphins; improve memory, alertness and positivity; decrease blood pressure and stress; improve self-esteem; and ease depression and loneliness.
There are dozens of supportive studies, from the Veterans Administration (The Healing Benefits of Humor), the Mayo Clinic (Laughter for Stress Relief is No Joke), to Harvard (A Laugh A Day Keeps the Doctor Away), Vanderbilt (Laugh Out Loud to Burn a Few Calories) and Stanford Universities (Seven Ways Laughter Can Improve Your Well-Being). Even the stoic National Institutes of Health (The Laughter Prescription) wants us all to lighten up!
That’s a powerful way to live.
RX: Megadose of Laughter, Especially in March
At AgeRight Care at Home , we’re serious about delivering concierge services that help our patients and clients age right.
And part of that is prescribing a megadose of humor.
Whether we’re helping patients recover from surgery or chronic illness; providing physical, occupational or speech therapy; or assisting with housekeeping and meal prep –– we love finding lighthearted moments to share a laugh.
We also medically chart laughter for our patients. We know when they laugh, they’re feeling better, mentally and physically.
That’s why in March, we celebrate National Let’s Laugh Day, Share a Smile Day, Act Happy Day and Wellderly Day. They’re reminders of the proven health benefits of happiness, humor and laughter and that “wellness” and “elderly” are not mutually exclusive.
We’re also delighted to bring back our Company’s annual fundraiser, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” Proceeds help fund programs that bring joy to those living and working in senior care.
Ready to up your laughter game? Read on!
5 Tips to Aging Right With More Humor and Laughter
#1 Be Intentional
#2 Begin Your Day with a Laugh and Smile
#3 Seek Relationships That Trigger Laughter and Joy
#4 Make Yourself Laugh and Experience Joy
#5 Use Humor to Overcome Challenges and Enhance Your Life