Sunday Thoughts (you gotta laugh)

You may look back at the past year and think there’s nothing funny about it.

I mean, what a mess. 

If you feel like sometimes you just want to slump down in your chair or curl up in a ball, you’re certainly not alone.

The amount of stress we’re under is overwhelming at times. 

But you’ve likely heard the old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Turns out, it’s really true.

As a pressure valve, a reset to your day, and as a way to actually protect your health, it actually works.

Heavy stress takes a toll on your health. Your heart. Your sleep. And your mind. 

But laughter releases nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes your blood vessels, reduces blood pressure and decreases clotting. 

Quite literally, a funny moment or movie can help prevent a stroke. 

I’ve been married to Karen for a long time. (When people ask how long, I always say “not long enough.” And we all enjoy a good laugh… and an eye roll from Karen.) 

And she’s heard most of my go-to jokes. But each day I can honestly say, without question, we share some laughs. Even on our worst days, there’s a way to find the humor in almost any situation. 

It’s worth looking for it. A healthy sense of humor is directly related to living a longer life.

Some doctors are even prescribing laughter to their patients. Funny videos. Joke books. Whatever tickles you is good for you. Really!

Humor keeps negative emotions in check. And it changes your perspective. Threats become challenges, something you can overcome, not something that overwhelms.

Charlie Chaplin once said that “In order to truly laugh, you need to be able to take your pain and play with it.” 

This pandemic is hardly funny. But just thinking about staff meetings wearing PJ bottoms, or the folks on the team whose dogs always chime in during discussions… there have been some chuckles. Pretty regularly, actually. 

It helps me make it through the day. And it’s keeping the whole team sane. 

If you can’t change what you’re dealing with, maybe you can change how you look at it. 

And humor gives you the power to do just that. 

So your homework assignment is to find something to laugh at today. Share a laugh with a loved one. And think about how you feel afterwards. 

It’s true – you’ll see – it’s the best medicine of them all.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Donna - December 15, 2020

After 47 years of marriage, my husband and I are finally learning to “lighten up.” Man, is it making this the best holyday yet, in spite of coronavirus. I think, for me, that explains why we had to go through this; I can’t answer for anyone else. I hope each person is learning the lesson he/she is supposed to.

Joyce Keel - December 15, 2020

Maybe that’s why I’m still around…I think the dumbest things are funny. Sometimes they are cute n funny, other times crude n funny, and sometimes just hilarious. At times it’s so I can shock the kids n grandkids… Those are the best ones. 😉 At times what they say may b true but I’ll acct all offended and ask why they are picking on the old lady.. That gets them laughing.

Penni Bulten - December 15, 2020

One of the worst things about this year is the thought of a Kamala Harris presidency. The primary concern I have with this is the fact of Senator Kamala Harris’ involvement with the NIFLA vs. Becerra case. We actually read a bit about this and it really confirmed my suspicions of the dangers of a triple threat (House, Senate and Presidency held by the DNC). So I relieve my fears by praying and finding humor here:

Friederike Dohrmann - December 14, 2020

Dear Jeff,

So many times I wanted to get back to you and let you know how much I enjoy your Comments. Just never got around to it, but today I just had to take the time. I do so appreciate and enjoy your writing. Thank you……


Bill Bufford - December 14, 2020

Maybe that’s why at 90 I’m still working 40 hrs. a week and most of it on my feet. I can generally find some humor in almost everything that’s said around me. The Lord has given me attitude, and I try to past it on to those I deal with each day.

Ellen Kay Rees - December 14, 2020

I care for a women that has had 15 heart attaches, 4 strokes and 2 major seizures. When she first came to live with us I noticed that she spoke very little and never smiled. I began to spend more and more time getting her to talk and then to smile. I took that smile and once in a while I could get her to laugh but they were short. Well now she laughs all of the time and talks a whole lot more. People that have known her for a long time cannot believe how much better she sounds and how much happier she is. It is well worth the time and effort to make those around us happy, it is contagious since I even smile and laugh more than I have in a long time.

Diane - December 14, 2020

You are so right. I know that negative thoughts or people are not good, so I decided to find at least one thing each day to really laugh about. It brings me much peace and joy.

Pete Ward MD - December 14, 2020

You are exactly correct about the healing/health maintenance value of daily laughter. Keep up the good work. Stay healthy, strong and hopeful. Pete

Richard Nedwidek - December 14, 2020

Laughing is good medicine.
I’m a retired old fart. I’ve been retired since I was 53, (1997). But I have always kept busy and don’t let the moss grow under my feet. With Travel, hobbies and keeping up the home is a full time fun job. One of the other major things I do is help others by volunteering or I do remodeling for seniors. They pay for the materials, I do the work for free. I always figured it was a win – win situation. They get things fixed/updated, I keep busy and make more friends. Well Back in 2007, I offered to clean gutters for a older friend. Told him as we age our Equal Librium is not as great as it was in our younger years and I didn’t want him up on his roof at 80 plus years. (I was 63 and a youth) Good laugh there.
Well I took care of the lower roof just fine. Extended the ladder and went up and did the second roof. Then the problems started. Went to get on the ladder, and the darn thing slid. Backwards both the ladder and I went. (I had placed the ladder in a bad place, the driveway) Well I landed on my back partly on the ladder with my right shoulder and the rest of my body on the asphalt. I wound up with both shoulders broken the left shoulder blade broke, the right shoulder blade smashed. 9 ribs on the left side of the back broke, 3 bones at the base of the back, 4 vertebrae damaged. 2 of the ribs went through my left lung. Hip implant. (Took weeks before I ever knew the hip was broke and had the operation, was on too many meds that had me in la-la land. The ribs though the lung cause some real problems if the rest weren’t. They didn’t catch the ribs through the lung for a few days. That lung filled with blood and the heart stopped. Once they brought me back it was a new order to deal with. Well after 5 weeks in the hospital and 3 1/2 weeks in a Nursing home for therapy and to learn to walk again.
Once off the meds and I knew how I was and where I was, I started clowning around and Joking. One nurse asked me one day, how can you joke and laugh so much. My answer was plan and simple to her. I Told he that the laughing helped me though a really tough time. I felt better during the laughs. And that all I had to do is look around me, no matter how bad I had it, there was someone else in Worst shape. I have always felt that.
In life we all have problems or situations that make life harder. But no matter how bad you have it, Someone has it worst.
Here it is 13 years later, and if you saw me, you can’t tell I was at the gates of hell. I figure what was a big part of my healing was because of the laughter. I see myself as Bless.
Bottom line, Laugh, Joke, Clown around. It’s all good for you and others.
Richard Nedwidek

Mary Ann Foster Almeida - December 14, 2020

Hi John! Thank You so much for your email regarding the importance of humor and laughing. It could not have come at a better time. All things happen at the proper time when we cooperate with Grace - and you have! First, I sobbed due to the weight of the reality of the truth of what you had written. Then, this truth set in and my spirit was lifted. Thank You, John! May God Bless you for your Generous spirit, your gracious sense of humor and your continual Co-operation - May God Bless you and all those you Love - always!

Mary Ann Foster Almeida

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