The Benefits of Laughter
Research shows that the place when we laugh, the affected area of the brain where it happens is in the frontal and the temporal lobe, which are the same areas where depression occurs. If one takes an MRI, one can see that the same areas of the brain are affected by laughter that are affected by medication and disease.
Laughter creates a bond with other people who are enjoying the same jokes.
Laughter relieves stress – when we laugh, a message is sent to the brain to release feel-good hormones.
Tips for Adding Humor to your life
Are there not enough laughter opportunities in your daily life? Create them!
- Watch an old sitcom or movie that cracked you up every time in your youth. How about a classic like “The Honeymooners” or “I Love Lucy”? For me, a Danny Kaye movie was sure to make me forget my troubles and laugh out loud. Even if we realize the slapstick comedy of decades ago was silly, the familiarity of beloved characters we grew up with is soothing and can bring back fond memories, along with some giggles.
- Or, for a more modern option, you can watch a funny YouTube video – search for funny videos about pets, kids, or whatever strikes your fancy. There is something for every taste.
- Fake it till you make it – even if you are not in a laughing mood, you can watch a funny movie or a comedy routine and “force” yourself to laugh. Before you know it, you will be laughing for real, and benefiting from those feel-good hormones!
Retirement Community Activities that Make People Laugh
It’s fair to say that people of the same generation have similar tastes in entertainment and similar senses of humor. Therefore, talk to the community administrator about organizing the following events (or organize them yourself)!
- Stand-up comedy night – let it be open mic for residents of the retirement community who love to tell jokes. Whether you are entertaining or being entertained, let loose and have fun!
- Show a comedy movie marathon in the community center – try Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, the Marx Brothers, etc. Ask residents to vote on their favorite and choose several movies to show once or twice a week. Laughter is contagious, so hold on to your seat, you’re in for a good time!
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. —Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
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