Dec. 7: Laughing is good for you

Years ago, a friend told me she had breast cancer. The prognosis was good, but she was worried about the changes this would bring to her body. I can’t remember what she said next exactly, but it sparked a series of the best ever, most awful puns involving the word breast and its synonyms. Well, we laughed and laughed until we cried, and then we cried and cried until we laughed again.

It was cathartic and exhausting, and we felt better after we pulled ourselves together. It reminded me of an article I had read about Norman Cousins when he was diagnosed with a chronic illness. He did all kinds of treatments per his medical team, but he added a daily comedy film after reading about researcher Hans Selye’s work on stress and its impact on the body. Cousins thought if stress could cause harm, then eliminating stress by laughing should do good. It did wonders for his well-being and also provided his body with healing doses of endorphins.

A British survey in 2014 found adults laugh six times a day compared to children who laugh an average of 400 times a day. I wonder if we tripled our laugh quotient as adults, how much more would that add to our day? I’m off to find out. But for now, enjoy this little gem that always brings a smile to my face: Pretty Big Dig.

Photo by Roger Brown on

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