Lying on his deathbed, a loving husband was wavering between life and death when he thought he smelled chocolate chip cookies baking. They were his very favorite, so he dragged himself out of bed, crawled to the kitchen and was just reaching up to take a cookie off the plate when his wife slapped his hand with a spatula.
“Don’t touch!” she commanded. “They’re for the funeral.”
(Contributed to Reader’s Digest Magazine by Colin Taylor)
Above is an excerpt from Laughter Is The Best Medicine: my number one go-to section of Reader’s Digest Magazine… and since I’m confessing, I always leaf through the newspaper to the funnies first. And I still like watching cartoons, (just the oldies, because there are no good cartoons anymore). Does this make me shallow? Or does it mean my priorities in the right place? I prefer to think the latter…
With so many stresses in life vying for our attention and so much bad news incessantly bombarding us from every direction, a daily dose of laughter may well be one of the best drugs on the market- and the best part is it’s available with no prescription. Yesterday a small yellow information sheet caught my eye at our local community rec center:
At first, I thought- “oh, yet another yoga fad to follow”, followed with an involuntary mental stereotyping… but I found myself smiling at the words ha ha ha ho ho ho hee hee hee, and thought that just maybe these people might have something here.
So I looked it up. Laughter Yoga International is the website of Dr. Madan Kataria, who claims on this site to be the founder of the movement he refers to as ‘Social Laughter Clubs’. The premise is self-triggered laughter, not necessarily involving humor or comedy, combined with yogic breathing (pranayama). The claimed health benefits are vast and varied, including physiological, mental and social well-being.
Now, being the somewhat shy guy that I am, I’m probably not going to go out and sign up- but I do know that laughter is contagious, and it feels damn good when your gut aches and you have tears streaming down your face because of uncontrollable guffaws… and having no long depressing list of side effects, I find myself fully endorsing this idea of laughing as the new drug of the day.
So please excuse me, it’s Sunday morning and I have some Looney Toons to catch up on…