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Laughter Medicine for Body & Soul

Being a father carries with it some pretty serious responsibilities. That is why it is so important to learn to laugh, and that’s why we at Dads4Kids publish weekly doses of humour for busy dads.

In 1979 Norman Cousins wrote, ‘Anatomy of an Illness (As Perceived by the Patient)’. Cousins had Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rheumatoid-like disorder. Considering the hospital noisy and impersonal, Cousins checked into a hotel room where he read inspirational and humorous literature and watched Candid Camera and Groucho Marx film clips. Although flat on his back with pain when the experiment began, within a few months Cousins returned to full-time work. He attributed his recovery to the cultivation of positive emotions. Humour used properly can be a beneficial antidote against anxiety, stress, tension and depression that contributes to physical illness.

John Ingram Walker in ‘Leverage Your Time – Balance Your Life’ says, “The highest level of humour allows us to appreciate the absurdities and the paradoxes of life. Viewing our frustrations with humour – learning to laugh at ourselves and our problems – allows us to be more flexible and better balanced.”

• Laughter increases the number of natural good killer cells that attack viral infected cells such as cancer and tumour cells.
• Laughter reduces pain levels in the body.
• Laughter helps muscles relax.
• Laughter reduces stress hormones.
• Laughter can provide good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform physical exercise. A belly laugh is equivalent to ‘an internal jogging’, Norman Cousins.
• Laughter and humour may significantly increase a person’s level of hope according to psychologist David H Rosen.
• Laughter invokes light heartedness and increased mental clarity.
• Laughter lowers blood pressure.
• Laughter helps people communicate and strengthens friendship.

While my wife and I were working out at the gym a dentist friend of mine told us this story:

There were two men fishing in a boat. One of them got so seasick he threw up not only the contents of his stomach but his new false teeth as well. His friend, seeing his dilemma, thought he would play a joke on him to brighten his day. His friend took out his own false teeth and put them on a hook, pretending to catch them on his fishing line. He reeled them up and said, “Look what I’ve found!” His friend grabbed the teeth, carefully inspected them and then said, as he threw them overboard, “No mate, they’re not mine!”

As comedian Will Rogers said, “Friends, I don’t give advice. But, if I did, I’d just say that we’re only on this earth for a short time; so for heaven’s sake, have a few laughs and don’t take things so seriously, especially ourselves. Just live your life so you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”


Lighten up and learn to laugh at yourself as Will Rogers said. Why not have a family session or funny story time around your family meal this week? And remember, Laughter is the best medicine.

Yours for more laughter
Warwick Marsh

PS. Saturday 30 May 2015 is the National Day of Thanksgiving www.thanksgiving.org.au
Get your thankyou cards, stickers, ribbons and balloons now so that you can show your appreciation.

Suggestions for 2015 are to thank and honour people in the following areas:
Fathers, Father Figures, and Mentors. They play such an important role in our lives and particularly the lives of our children.

Also those who work in the field of Finance, especially people working in Finance departments of Not-for-Profit Organisations and Charities. Bookkeepers, Accountants, Bank Staff, Treasurers of Sporting and Social groups, and people working in Financial Support areas and Debt Counselling.

As always we encourage you to look for different ways to express thankfulness in the way you celebrate this Day, and in the way you live. You could live out a thankful heart by offering a random act of kindness to someone less fortunate than yourself.

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