Your daily dose of Vitamin L is an absolute must for your well- being
With all the time we waste anxiously fretting on something that’s never going to happen, a thousand tumultuous and unnecessary thoughts, incessant mind chatter, people telling us do this and don’t do that… life can sometimes be blah. Rather than feeding your mind with upsetting or mundane thoughts, try adding a daily dose of laughter into your life.
Some people save favourite recipes; I strongly suggest creating a file of comedy favourites for a diet of sure-fire fun. And just like eating good food keeps us healthy, the science is clear: Laughter is good medicine. It relieves stress, reduces blood pressure, and is a natural pain reliever.
Did you know that the two universal, automatic responses to something we find funny are doubling over at the waist (that’s why it’s called a belly laugh) and slapping the table or one’s knees? If you haven’t done either in a while, you’re overdue.
Allow me to share one of my favourite jokes:
Elderly Man Thinks Fast
An elderly farmer in Florida had a large pond down by his fruit orchard. One evening he decided to go down to the pond and took a bucket to pick some fruit.
As he neared the pond, he heard female voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in the pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, ‘We’re not coming out until you leave!’
The old man thought for a second and said, ‘I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim or to make you get out of the pond naked.’
Holding the bucket up he said, ‘I’m here to feed the alligator!’
Moral: Older men think fast.
How to ensure your daily diet of healthy humour is topped up:
- Know what makes you laugh out loud What, or who, makes you double over, or at least grin? Spend more time with them!
- Create a comedy cache. Save links from funny YouTube videos in a favourites file. Build a list of movies, TV shows, and Comedy specials that make you laugh. Look up books of limericks or puns (Pinterest does some awesome ones), and rediscover comedy writers and discover stand-up comedians.
- Involve others! Social engagement is the number one way to improve health as we age. Combine people with laughing and you win every time. And the more you share laughs with others, the more they’ll share things they find funny.
- Begin your diet now. Plan episodes of absurdity by carving out time every day. Start your day with a full plate of jokes which sets your mood. In the evening, erase the day’s troubles by spending another half-hour on a fat-free dessert of hilarity.
- Always always always find something about yourself to laugh about. Not taking yourself so seriously and finding humour in small things helps add colour to your day and paints your life brighter.
During the terrible cyclone that hit our city in August, a young man filmed a video of his aunt and uncle’s flooded house combining it with a hilarious running commentary. He described one room as the Arabian Sea and another as the Pacific Ocean etc. The ability to find humour when the chips were down was a truly spirited and heart -warming gesture. Social media loved that video and fell in love with his attitude.
Aging with humour is also seriously attractive! A few last thoughts to make sure you don’t give up on your diet of laughs:
- As you get older, your secrets are safe with your friends. They can’t remember them either.
- I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my jeggings on, the class was over.
- It’s scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.
- These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, “For fast relief.”
As Maurice Chevalier famously summed it up, “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing”.