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Laughter the Best Medicine

November 01 2010

laughterYou don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. - Michael Pritchard

Happy Monday! I hope you woke up today jazzed to start a new week.

I attended a comedy night fundraiser this weekend with a group of friends. It was great to kick back and watch 5 or 6 comedians for a couple of hours. But as usual it made me start thinking....

It might just be me, but it really seemed like people had more energy and were friendlier after the show. So I started doing a little research. While the data is sketchy, it appears that infants start laughing at about 4 months. In the younger years, estimates say kids laugh anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand times a day! As we age, this number apparently declines to anywhere from 0 to a couple dozen times a day. Basically as we get older, we don't laugh enough!

There are actually many studies that point to the many great side effects of humor. According to Helpguide.org here are just a few of the benefits of laughter.

Physical Health Benefits:

  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits:

  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience

Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding

 


 

So laugh often my friends. It can help you deal with the obstacles that life throws at you. We all know life is full of ups and downs. The way the "downs" impact you is largely the result of how you internalize them. How about throwing a little humor into the equation?

A couple weeks ago I attended a seminar by Lorraine Ferguson of the Sandler Institute. If you are in sales and have an opportunity to take a class with her, do it! She is awesome. Anyway, it was a breakfast seminar and it was raining. Surprisingly, the roads were actually washed out on the way in and I was behind schedule. I hurriedly put my "Clancy Real Estate" pullover windbreaker on in my car and ran into the meeting. Arriving late, I took my seat up front as the back rows had already filled. About 10 minutes in I realized something just wasn't right. Finally, it dawned on me that I had put my "Clancy Real Estate" V neck pull over on backwards! It must have been painfully obvious to the people behind me. (thanks for the heads up fellas!) I think as recently as a few years ago, I would have beat myself up, been totally embarrassed, and probably would have worried that all the local business owners present thought I was an idiot! I chose an alternative route. I started laughing at my error. I don't think anyone really noticed my laughter except Lorraine who probably thinks I am a freak for laughing in the middle of her class. Anyway, when you screw up admit it, laugh, and move on. Life is absolutely too short to beat yourself up over the little stuff!


Make it a point to laugh this week. It will put a smile on your face and I can guarantee you are better looking wearing a smile!

I love this quote from coach Tom Ferry, who will be in Albany tomorrow- "Strategy matters and passion rules!" So true! Rock on!

Have an awesome week!

 
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