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Laughter . . . the BEST Medicine April 12, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor, People.

Wikipedia ~ Paper Bag (in Public Domain)

Leaving the dentist office this afternoon, I saw a woman sitting on a bench by the door to the parking lot.

She held a cane and a brown paper bag.

I don’t know what was in the bag.  I didn’t ask.  That would have been nosy.

I paused, hand on the door, “Everything OK?  Is someone meeting you here?”

“No.  I’m just resting before walking out to my car.”

“Oh.  Do you need help?  I’ll wait and walk out with you if you like.  I’m in no rush.”

“Aren’t you sweet . . . ”

I grinned, “Well . . . I have my moments.”

Wikipedia ~ American Humor (in Public Domain)

With that admission, she laughed and grinned up at me, “Thanks.  I needed that!  I feel tons better.”

I started to push open the door, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

“So they say.”

“This time, they are right.  Laughter eases pain, improves our immune system, helps us sleep so our body can heal itself . . .”

I told her how Norman Cousins had defeated a fatal illness by laughing at the Marx Brothers.

Laughing for 10 minutes gave him 2 hours of pain free sleep at a time ~  sleep his body needed to heal itself.

He survived and lived to tell the tale in Anatomy of an Illness.

She listened with interest.  She learned something of value.  Now, she just needs to remember to laugh.

Tigger-Looking-At-His-TailSame goes for the rest of us . . .

Have you laughed today?

We do not laugh because we are happy.  We are happy because we laugh.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Piglet in Portugal - April 12, 2012

Yes, I spent 10 minutes looking for my reading glasses only to discover they were on my head! I was cross because I could not find them, than laughed when I did.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Good for you, PiP! Some people laugh easily. For others, it’s more of a struggle to laugh at life’s foibles . . . hey’re probably the ones who would benefit the most.

This conversation surprised me because SHE seemed so surprised to hear that there is medical evidence to support the benefits of daily laughter.

Piglet in Portugal - April 12, 2012

I wonder if she takes a moment to research the benefits of laughter for herself. I hope so…

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

I told her about Norman Cousin’s books. She seemed intent on the topic. So, fingers crossed.

2. Pocket Perspectives - April 12, 2012

Oh…I saw that title in the email list and just knew it was you! : ) ….I’ve been way too serious today….now let’s see…how to lighten up???? ummmmm????…any good movie suggestions for this evening???

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Oh, you need to schedule a Giggle-Fest. 😆

My favorite funny movies are rather “juvenile” ~ Animal House (John Belushi), Caddyshack (Chevy Chase, Bill Murray), Christmas Vacation (Chevy Chase), etc. I also like the more subtle humor and innuendo in Jane Austen’s works.

3. Carl D'Agostino - April 12, 2012

The Insurance companies and the pharma’s are the one’s laughing about health

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Yup . . . they’re laughing all the way to the bank. 😆

All the more reason for US to get the last laugh.

4. souldipper - April 12, 2012

A long-time friend just left and we had several belly laughs. He’s going through all kinds of stuff at the age of 78, but nothing’s going to stop him from flying his plane!

As long as he doesn’t pack his own ‘chute, he’ll be fine!

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Bwahahaha! You made me laugh out loud, Amy! Belly laughs are the best. 😀

5. suzicate - April 12, 2012

laughter is absolutely good for the body and soul! Thanks for sharing your story.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

It was one of those times when I was so GLAD that I chimed up and talked to a “stranger.” I could see her visibly doing better at the end of the converstaion.

6. sufilight - April 12, 2012

I read Norman Cousins’ book years ago and never forgot his lessons. I laugh, almost everyday, even in the midst of life’s challenges. So glad you were a stranger’s angel. I made it a point of smiling at strangers as I ventured out today.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Thanks, Marie. His thoughts are as relevant today as when he wrote them.

Making the lady with the bag (not a “bag lady”) smile and laugh made my day. I find it’s impossible to spread good cheer to others without having it reflect back on us.

Then, for good measure, I saved a turtle crossing the road. 😀

7. Andra Watkins - April 12, 2012

I went out with my nine-year-old ‘niece’ last night, and we laughed until my face hurt. We always do that together. She thinks I’m amazing, because I act like a kid. (her words) I’m waiting for that view to change any day now, given her age…….

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Laughing with kids is the BEST!

My nieces and nephews viewed me in like vein (because, like you, I act like a kid) until THEY felt too “grown up” to act like kids themselves. I’m waiting for them to come around, full circle.

Life is better with laughter.

8. cuhome - April 12, 2012

Yes! I laugh every chance I get, and sometimes I have to create the moments that create the laughter! It’s like a good cry ~~ I feel so much better afterwards. Endorphins are great, aren’t they?

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Endorphins are “good mood” enhancers. Love them.

I laugh easily and often . . . a bit like Mary Poppin’s Uncle Albert, floating about the ceiling in the midst of mirth singing, “I love to laugh . . . loud and long and clear.”

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

9. Patricia - April 12, 2012

Wherever I have worked there has been laughter except for one job. I lasted about 3 weeks then I called in and quit–no notice or anything–I just could not bear one more day.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

I’m sure I would have felt (and done) the same, Patricia. Life is too short to be stuck in a vacuum without laughter.

Whenever I leave a job, people say they are going to miss . . . my laugh. They’re so used to hearing it as they deal with petty problems and trivial concerns.

10. terry1954 - April 12, 2012

very good, and laughter helps so much

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

I am now in the mood to watch FUNNY movies . . . 😀

11. Sandra Bell Kirchman - April 12, 2012

Another mood enhancer is a pet. I have three adorable Shih Tzus, and they make me laugh every day…even on days when I feel that laughter has left the building.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Yes! Tigger does the same . . . but not as much as roly poly puppies. 😀

12. cuhome - April 12, 2012

Thanks ~ great You Tube video!

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Uncle Albert is my hero! 😆

13. thirdhandart - April 12, 2012

Caught myself smiling while watching the “I Love To Laugh!” video. Thank you Nancy. 😆

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Laughter is contagious! 😆

14. barb19 - April 12, 2012

My dog Poppy makes me laugh every single day with her silly little antics, she is so funny and cute! Then she stares at us, wondering what we are laughing at . . . and so it goes on!
Laughter is definitely the best medicine.

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Just reading your comment made me smile, Barb ~ dogs have such great comedic timing . . . especially when they cock their heads to the side while thinking, “huh?” 😉

15. Jas - April 12, 2012

You make a great conversation.. 🙂

nrhatch - April 12, 2012

Thanks, Jas. I talk to “strangers” often. Sometimes I even say something they want or need to hear. 😉

Today seemed just such an occasion.

16. Perfecting Motherhood - April 13, 2012

I’m the lucky mom of two very funny kids so we laugh every single day. We make up jokes, tell funny stories, play on words and make practical jokes. And then there are all the funny things they say without meaning to be funny. Gosh, I hope it never stops!

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

That’s such a great age . . . silliness and seriousness both result in gales of laughter. Enjoy every minute!

17. Three Well Beings - April 13, 2012

Fortunately I seem to laugh easily! A lot of things strike me as funny and I enjoy looking for humor. I posted on humor last year when Anderson Cooper got the giggles on CNN. Did you happen to see his giggle-fit? I was so amused by that and have had many similar occurrences–getting the giggles when maybe it doesn’t seem quite the best time! What a kind gesture to be aware that this woman perhaps needed a little company…and you gave her a laugh. A day well spent! Debra

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Thanks, Debra. I didn’t see Anderson Cooper have his giggle-fit. Wish I had. It’s great to watch someone fighting to “keep it together” with laughter bursting out anyway. 😉

I believe that the Universe whispered in my ear . . . exactly what she needed to hear. It wouldn’t be the first time:


The quieter our minds become . . . the more we hear.

18. Victoria-writes - April 13, 2012

I agree, laughter is needed every day or we’d end up feeling very miserable. Well done on making someone smile!

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Thanks, Vix. Making someone else’s day makes my day. Acts of kindness spread positive energy:

In the constant thread of life, we are connected in all we do
Spread love and joy to others, and love will return to you


19. sweetdaysundertheoaks - April 13, 2012

Yep, I would say I get in a fair share of laughter. We love to laugh! CH and I doing lots of laughing at each other.

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Same here! We have “inside jokes” that pop out with great regularity causing laughter to bubble up ~ e.g., when we spill something, when we forget something, when telemarketers call, etc. Instead of stress, we feel mirth.

Aah . . . that’s better!

20. Maggie - April 13, 2012

I try to find humor in everyday, normal things. Making people laugh is one of my joys in life. 🙂

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Yes! I love making people laugh and/or de-stress.

When someone is frustrated about a minor annoyance (e.g., credit card not swiping), I encourage them to see the absurdity of getting upset over nothing . . . “this too shall pass.”

They stare at me for a minute, the lightbulb goes off, and they visibly relax with a smile.

Aah . . . that’s better!

21. Tammy - April 13, 2012

So hard for us to stop and remember sometimes, isn’t it? Love that you shared laughter with this woman Nancy.

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

It is ~ when we are least inclined to laugh, we benefit the most.

I find that if we help others over their “rough patches” . . . we find it easier to circumnavigate the pebbles on our path. 😀

22. bluebee - April 13, 2012

My husband makes me laugh every day 🙂

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Mine too! We keep each other laughting . . . even in the midst of mayhem. 😆

23. Stephanie - April 13, 2012

Yes, and I have to thank our animals for keeping us light-hearted. One of them always manages to do something laugh-worthy.

24. nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Animals “quack” me up! 😀

25. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 13, 2012

Not too long ago my husband I watched the movie, Horrible Bosses. Yes it was rather crude and crass and I sure wouldn’t watch it with my mom but it was sooooooooooooooooooo funny! I laughed through the entire movie. And I do mean laugh. Stupid, silly, can’t breath, pee your pants and crying laughter. My husband didn’t find it nearly as funny and he kept looking at me as if I were crazy. Hangover 2 was almost as funny. I don’t care for the nastiness in it but it is funny and that one guy is too much fun too feast the eyes upon. Can’t think of his name.

nrhatch - April 13, 2012

Sometimes stupid and silly are the way to go, Linda! I love laughing until I cry. 😆

26. William D'Andrea - April 14, 2012

I am a natural comedian, and when I am writing, this joker is wild.
I’ve been a comedian since I was a child, in the 1950’s. I learned all about it by watching Comedy Shows on television. I watched, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar, Red Skelton, and Milton Berle (I didn’t care for him.) Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Steve Allen, and “The one, the only, Groucho Marx”. There were also old Laurel and Hardy Movies, along with Abbot and Costello. I know that with all the names that I’ve just given, I’m showing my age, but I am a natural comedian, and when I write comedy, I learned from watching the best.

nrhatch - April 14, 2012

I’m familiar with all those comedians . . . I also LOVED Bob Newhart, Monty Python, Robin Williams, George Carlin.

I listened to “The Button Down Mind of Bob Newhart” over and over ~ “the driving instructor” and “how to play baseball” are spot on!

27. William D'Andrea - April 14, 2012

“Good evening, Ladies and Germs!”

nrhatch - April 14, 2012

Good night, Mr. Calabash! 😉

William D'Andrea - April 14, 2012

I think Jimmy Durante was addressing “Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

nrhatch - April 14, 2012

Yes . . . but I thought you might object to the moniker “Mrs.” 😉

28. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - April 14, 2012

Sweet? I’d say you’re more on the saucy side!

nrhatch - April 14, 2012

Exactly! Saucy and Sassy . . .just south of Tallahassee.

29. William D'Andrea - April 14, 2012

“To the Moon Alice!”

nrhatch - April 14, 2012

A great Gleason sign off!

30. William D'Andrea - April 16, 2012

How about this?

The preacher spoke from the pulpit saying, “According to the Bible, we Christians should ‘Do all things without grumbling or complaining’. It also says that we should avoid malicious gossip, along with coarse jesting.”

When Worship had ended, and people were leaving, one member of the Congregation asked him “Then what’ll we possibly have to talk about?”

nrhatch - April 16, 2012

Good one, William.

Some people would be at a complete loss for words if they followed that simple admonition. 😀

31. jeanne - April 16, 2012

I work in an environment where laughter is a daily occurence…I love my co-workers!

nrhatch - April 16, 2012

Yay! Shared laughter is key for me . . . when people lack a sense of humor, I find them tiring to be around.

32. Today’s Motivation: How Laughing Makes You Skinny « Media Meme - April 18, 2012

[…] Laughter . . . the BEST Medicine (nrhatch.wordpress.com) […]

33. eof737 - April 22, 2012

Without laughter, I’d be dead… I need my dose daily. 🙂

nrhatch - April 24, 2012

Yup. I agree with Jimmy Buffett singing in Margaritaville . . . if we didn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

34. Team Oyeniyi - April 24, 2012

I like it. Yes, that is better!

nrhatch - April 24, 2012

I felt like I had done my “good deed” for the day. 😀

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