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Laughter for your health and happiness

Cambo the Clown has been clowning in the Bluegrass for 30 years.
Cambo the Clown has been clowning in the Bluegrass for 30 years.
Charles Ellis

Humor is good for you. Studies show that laughter can actually change your biochemistry and your outlook. One study showed that twenty seconds of hearty laughter can give the heart the same exercise as three minutes of hard rowing. Laughter can trigger the release of hormones that contribute to physical health and mental alertness. Norman Cousins in his book, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, found that laughter was healing and relieved his pain. In his own case, he discovered that ten minutes of laughter brought him two hours of pain-free sleep. Here are some of the many benefits attributed to laughter:

Helps manage stress

Releases beneficial chemicals in the brain

Makes positive connections with others

Increases happiness and fun

Strengthens relationships of all kinds and contributes to their longevity

Builds teams

Helps lower blood pressure

Creates a balance of perspective (especially when experiencing challenges)

Increases mental focus and alertness

What are some ways to bring more laughter into your life? Here are some ideas:

  • Call a friend or relative who always makes you laugh
  • Play a game that encourages laughter like Guesstures or Cranium
  • Go see a comedy at your local theater
  • Listen to a humorous radio program like Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!
  • Do something fun with your children
  • Play with your pets
  • Go to your local comedy club
  • Tune into a comedy on TV
  • Hire a clown for an upcoming party
  • Read a funny book
  • Turn to the comics in the newspaper
  • Subscribe to a humor list serve
  • Go to your favorite humor website or humorous videos on YouTube

Here are some Lexington connections for humor:

Comedy off Broadway
Cambo the Clown
Carnegie’s Corner
Lexington Movie Theaters
Lexington Opera House


  • Vincent Hicks 5 years ago

    This is an excellent article on a very "serious" subject, humor. Thanks for reminding us how healthy and fun it is for us to laugh!

  • Vincent Hicks 5 years ago

    Nice picture by the way!

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