Ok, so you may have figured it out. The last article, And Now For Some Serious News, was not serious at all. It was a total April Fool’s joke.
And it was also a good way to kick off the new series, on laughter and humor. Because although April Fool’s is over, it’s still ok to laugh.
In fact, if we don’t have a good sense of humor, if we can’t laugh easily, and especially laugh at ourselves, we’re in deep doo-doo.
If you want to live a Low Density Lifestyle, and feel light of body, mind and spirit, then being able to laugh easily is something that will help you get there. That’s why laughter is an essential aspect of living a Low Density Lifestyle.
It’s well known that laughter is good for the health. In one of the most famous and well-documented cases of how laughter can be healing, Norman Cousins, who went on to write about his case in his best-selling book, Anatomy of an Illness, healed from a terminal illness by watching funny movies.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle viewed laughter as “a bodily exercise precious to health.”
Studies have shown that laughter drops the blood pressure and is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. Laughter appears to cause the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, the endothelium, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.
That makes sense, because when you laugh you can feel your body open up – this is the blood moving through the body and dilating blood vessels.
Other studies have shown that laughter can cause a drop in the blood’s concentration of the stress hormone cortisol. Because chronically elevated cortisol levels have been shown to weaken the immune system, this can help ward off disease.
And other experiments have indicated that laughter increases the activity of immune cells called natural killer cells in the saliva of healthy subjects.
Psychologists and mental health experts have also found that laughter and comedy can be a remedy for stress, depression, or just feeling down.
Laughter can also help with pain. As early as 1928, New York physician James J. Walsh noticed that laughter seemed to dampen pain after surgery. Since then, research has indicated that humor can have painkilling properties. One 1996 study demonstrated that patients who watched funny movies needed less of their mild painkillers after orthopedic surgery than did patients who viewed serious flicks or nothing at all.
In addition to suppressing pain, being funny and cheerful can cultivate friendships. Cheerful people have a lighthearted interaction style that facilitates bonding closely with others and builds social support.
So, over the course of this series, be prepared to laugh! (Even if the jokes aren’t that funny, laugh anyway to humor me.)