Why don’t I laugh anymore?
Someone recently told me they think they lost their sense of humor along with their youth. While some people think that we lose our funny bone with age, most experts agree that it’s related to a loss of hearing or other senses- it’s only the ability to experience humor is different at 90! In fact, all experts agree that humor promotes good health, here are four important areas:
- Physical Wellness: humor can have a positive impact on the perception of pain, it benefits our immune system, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol and relieves stress. 15 minutes of a good hearty belly laugh (with tears!) is the same physical workout as 10 minutes on the treadmill at brisk pace!
- Emotional Wellness: Humor can be a great and needed distraction, it relieves stress, it boosts our mood and is an anxiety killer!
- Social Engagement: Humor helps us socially- it connects us to others. The great Victor Borge said “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
- Brain Health: Humor is a great tool for sustaining optimum intellectual function. Despite its reputation as a childish mode of thinking, humor can actually be a highly developed mental exercise, training us to approach ideas in new ways. Even a lowly pun requires the brain to shift perspective and “stretch” a little bit.
Keeping humor in our lives as we age is very important!