Did you grow up with laughter being part of your family culture? Do you realize how critical laughter is you to health?
I did not grow up with laughter and was actually told not to smile much because it showed
my crooked teeth which my parents could not afford braces. But, I did learn to laugh and
laugh hard and often through my husband and his family. I have been blessed to learn to
laugh at so many things. I’ll even tell embarrassing stories on myself just so I can have a good laugh.
Now as a caregiver to a husband with dementia, laughter is a huge piece of my own self-care so I am constantly on
the lookout for something I see or hear to laugh about.
I recently read about a man caring for his wife with dementia. As they were driving on a trip, his wife told him she
was looking out for dead animals on the side of the road. Rather than worry about what was said as something so
out of character, the man quickly responded, “Oh, hon, I didn’t realize you were so hungry.” She thought that was
very funny, and so did I.
I am not laughing at people with challenges but somethings just hit my tickle bone and that is good for me. Almost
3000 years ago the wise King Solomon wrote, “A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . . “(Proverbs 17:22a NIV)
Another way to say that is, being cheerful helps keep you healthy. If he was the wisest man of all who are alive
today, Solomon might even agree that laughter is indeed “the best medicine”. I take a dose or more a day for myself
and it relieves some of the stress out of life and caregiving.
Think about how by God’s design, laughter boosts both physical and emotional health. It’s many positive effect on
well-being can strengthen our resiliency and help us cope better with the stresses of life in all its forms. Experts
say that laughter:
- Strengthens the immune system by increasing antibodies
- Relaxes muscles throughout the body
- Reduces tension, anxiety, and stress
- Lowers bad cholesterol and elevates good cholesterol
- Increases blood vessel elasticity
- Increases energy
- Prevents heart disease
- Improves social connections
- Shifts perspective in a positive direction
At least once a day, find something that makes you laugh, and sometimes a big belly laugh, with friends, movies,
books, and internet videos. Do it for your health. Be a good self-care giver.
Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community
Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson
Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.
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