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Laughter is for every day

Clowning around
Mary Claire O'Neal

Receiving some humorous emails from friends on April first reminded me how important it is to laugh every day. The benefits of laughter have been shown in study after study and prove what has been known through the ages: Laughter is good for us on many levels.

The wise fool archetype has been around for thousands of years. The clown or fool shows up, for instance, in many of Shakespeare’s plays. The fools in Twelfth Night and King Lear see through the drama of the humans around them with insight and wisdom. The jester or clown was a “fixture” at court, because laughter was seen as indispensable in the lives of kings or queens whose minds were focused on the often stressful business of running a kingdom.

Humor and laughter are good for us--giving us energy and busting stress. Humor can help us problem-solve and work through difficulty by showing the absurdity in a situation or drama. Laughing can give us some “distance” so we can better see the bigger picture. A study at Stanford University showed that exhiliarating endorphins are released when we laugh and that a good belly laugh for twenty seconds can have as much benefit for our health as three minutes of hard rowing on a machine.

What are some ways to add laughter to your day?

  • Seek out people who make you laugh or call a friend who has a good sense of humor
  • Go see or rent a humorous movie
  • Subscribe to a humor website or blog
  • Go to a comedy club
  • Play with your pets
  • Hire a clown for a party
  • Do something fun with your kids
  • Play games with friends or family

Here are some Lexington links to help you find the humor:

Lexington dog parks

Childrens museum and activities

Comedy Off Broadway

Lexington's Cambo the Clown

Lexington movie theaters and times


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