Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gallows Humor

I inherited humor from my parents. I learned that humor, when used appropriately can make life more bearable. At no time was this lesson more valuable then when I experienced my first major loss-the death of my grandmother. I was 11, and grief-stricken. I survived it because my father, aunts and uncles all laughed and cried freely.

My mother died recently, and through her long illness and death we had generous amounts of tears and laughter. I can't imagine living any other way, and science agrees with me; humor is more than a laughing matter. William Fry, M.D., professor emeritus in psychiatry at Stanford University Medical School, spent much of his career researching the physiological benefits of humor. Fry discovered that laughter changes brain patterns, stimulates the immune system, and reduces stress hormones. Laughter also reduces pain perception.

Here is a little something to stimulate your immune system:
Q: What was written on the hypochondriac's gravestone? A. “See, I told you I was sick.”

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