Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Laugh For Life - Add a Dose of Humor to Your Day

It's no secret that humor can relieve any situation. This article by Mary Hanawalt is proof of that...

Laugh For Life - Add a Dose of Humor to Your Day
By Mary Hanawalt

I recently learned a valuable lesson about the role of humor in my life. My college-student stepdaughter called me the other day, and said she had been given an assignment in her psychology class to write a paper. She had the option of writing about the affect of stress upon mental health, or about the affect of humor upon mental health. For some odd reason, she wanted my advice as to which one to choose, and how to research it. I immediately recommended doing the paper on humor, since it sounded like it would be a lot more fun than stress.

A quick search on the internet for "humor and health" showed that there has been an immense amount of research done on this subject. Now this didn't really surprise me. I have intuitively known since I was a child that a good laugh makes me feel good (and often puts a smile on the face of others in the vicinity), and must therefore be good for me. What surprised me was how until that moment, I had trivialized the impact of humor on my life, and on the lives of those I care about.

With this sudden epiphany, I vowed I would change. I decided to start giving humor the priority it deserved. I began to pursue humor with a vengeance. I doubled the number of practical jokes I play on my husband and children. I started actually reading the jokes emailed to me by friends. I perused numerous internet articles about the impact a good sense of humor can have on both our bodies and our souls.

Now don't get me wrong - " I have a long way to go down the path of humor enlightenment. I realized this just yesterday, as I stood in a slow-moving line at the grocery store. You know, the express line where you get behind the senior citizen who has way more than 15 items, and plans to write a check, who is behind the guy who forgot his swipe card, who is behind the lady who needs ten rainchecks. So there I am, evenly grinding the enamel off of my teeth, my temperature literally rising, muttering "hurry up" under my breath. Suddenly, a flash of realization struck me. I needed an attitude adjustment immediately, and humor was the key. I knew that the feel-good sensation from a good laugh could save me from melting into an angry puddle of froth. I looked around me at the rest of the cranky shoppers, and thought "Gee, this must be what it feels like to be a cow".

That is when I emitted my first "Moo". Admittedly, it was weak, and caused a flush of embarrassment to crawl up my cheeks. The surrounding shoppers peered around, looking at anything but me. Thankfully, though, I am persistent. My second "Moo" had much more clarity. I actually caused myself to snicker. The big breakthrough came when the lady in front of me turned around. She had an enormous grin on her face. "Moo" she said, causing an eruptive guffaw from the guy behind me. His subsequent "Moo" carried to the line at the next register.

The chain of moo's continued from line to line, and died off only after meeting the physical barrier of the produce section. The giggles, murmured jokes, rolling eyes, and grins lasted quite a bit longer. Needless to say, I walked out of that store with a smile on my face, regardless of the fact that I had been a victim of the express line from hell.

Granted, that was just one small life experience, but it proved that humor can save us from our own foul moods if given the chance. It also proved that humor is infectious. Just like a yawn, it can carry from one individual to the next. So get out there and laugh! Try to introduce a little humor into the next stressful situation you are in, and just see what happens.

Remember to add a dose of humor to each and every day. Laugh for life!

About the author:
Mary Hanawalt has a website at that is dedicated to women with a sense of humor. It is also intended for women who don't yet have a sense of humor, but need one. There are some great gift items available for those special women in your life. Please stop in for a look-around, or if you have any original poems or songs or stories of a silly nature to share.



On Parenting:

Don't push the panic button. Get help Now.
3000 Power Parenting Tools to Build the Family of your DREAMS!

The Modern Guide to Raising Children: Make your life easier - Make their life easier. All you need to become a better parent.

Having a teenager in the house doesn't have to be a nightmare!
Learn How To Raise a Well Behaved Fun Loving Teenager with
Teenage Parenting 101

On the Lighter Side: