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Laughing More During Chronic Illness

laughing is the best medicine

Laughing is the best true medicine. It is one of the strongest medicines and it is free. Laughter boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, helps protect the heart, reduces pain, lowers stress hormones, enhances oxygen intake which stimulates your organs and lightens the load. That all sounds good but you can’t run to your local pharmacy and pick it up in pill form. During chronic illness many don’t have the energy to muster up laughter. And exactly what is so funny during illness anyway?? There is one resource that would surprise you…

Science of Laughter

No clue how we have gotten so far away from natural laughter that we need science to prove that it is good for us, but here we are.

During chronic illness, if you do not naturally have a funny bone, learning how important it is to your health can inspire you catch a giggle.

Laughter Yoga Therapy – it is a real thing!!

Laughter can provide a positive respite from the adverse emotional effects associated with illness by improving mood, reducing depression, and improving life satisfaction and quality of life. These effects have been shown whether laughter has been spontaneous or simulated. Laughter Yoga (LY), developed in India in 1995, is a combination of simulated laughter with Yoga breathing exercises that is typically conducted in a group setting. It incorporates clapping, arm and leg movement, deep breathing exercises, gentle neck and shoulder stretches as well as facilitated laugh and smile exercises. It can improve life satisfaction, subjective wellbeing, and mood, and reduce anxiety and stress in healthy participants

~ Intradialytic Laughter Yoga Therapy ~ NCBI

Biggest Easiest Closest Reliable Funny

I promised to tell you what the one funny resource is that would surprise you.

It is the biggest, the easiest, the closest and the most reliable funny resource known to mankind.

It is you. You are funny whether you know it or not.

I am the least funny person I know. Couldn’t tell a joke correctly if I had to. There is no smooth flow to my speech that allows for appropriate timing, so nothing funny comes out of my mouth. Yet, even I have found the funny hidden inside of me. Now I think I am the funniest person I know — even though I am the only one with this perspective!!

It is MY perspective that effects MY health and wellbeing.

It is YOUR perspective that effects YOUR health and wellbeing.

So look for the funny within yourself, it really is there. Even from a sick-bed, you can be looking for YOUR funny…

  • Try brushing your teeth with your least dominant hand and see how that does not work well, it is funny to try
  • Try drawing or painting, see how goofy (or talented) you are and laugh at the results
  • Try reading a Dr. Seuss book aloud, follow the tongue twisters to the best of your ability and laugh at the twisted words that come out of your mouth
  • Try reaching and stretching for the stars and laugh at how incredibly small you feel

Find the Funny

While we are chronically ill, it is not always easy to find any funny anywhere. The people we tend to cling to are the ones who are also ill and they usually don’t have their funny on either. So, we have to go find some funny.

I know, we have heard it a million times, BUT IT IS TRUE!! We become the people we hang out with most. If those around you have no sense of humor you certainly won’t be developing your own.

CAUTION: During chronic illness, YOU can become the joke, not in a good way. If you are around people who use you and your time of distress as their jokes, YOU might be getting hurt instead of laughing.

Okay, go find some funny regardless of others so you don’t get sucked into their negativity at your expense.

Even though we were born with the innate sense of laughter, we tend to lose it as adults but we can RE-learn it at any time.

I will be the very first to admit that I lost every ounce of funny in me during the worse of my illness. I let the physical and emotional pain alter my funny. During the most intense physical pain we truly do not have the ability to see, do or be funny. When we come out of that intense pain, we do have the ability to move back into the funny. It is a choice. I did not transition well at all and it effected my ability to heal faster.

It is not the responsibility of others to create funny for you. If you have someone who makes you laugh (not at your expense) treasure that person. Otherwise, get on with finding your own funnies.

  • Keep looking for funny by trying new relationships — every interaction may lead to a really funny friendship
    • Speak to the checkout clerk – regardless of past attempts
    • Say hi to a neighbor – regardless of past attempts
    • Every phone call provides opportunity — you know those endless phone calls to utilities, computer issues, banks, etc — never know what will happen when you attempt to say something to lighten up the conversation
  • Find the funny in the fact that people take themselves too seriously (like me) — all the seriousness can be funny at times
  • Funny movies can have you roaring in laughter and not relying on others
  • Find a kid to laugh with — we are born with the innate response of laughter — kids can remind us of that and they welcome laughter
  • Practice funny jokes on others — whether you are funny or not, makes no difference (laugh at yourself and how poorly you tell jokes)

Funny Joke

Okay, I have already warned you, I have no ability to tell jokes. But this one is funny and reminds us that we don’t see the obvious, like the funny inside of ourselves.

So, there once was a lady who went to her counselor and explained how lonely she was. No one to talk to. No one to chit chat and carry on with, not even someone to exchange a hello with. Counselor told her to get a parrot.

Off she went to the local pet store. Explained to the owner that she needed a talking bird and he quickly sold her a chatty parrot that would fit the bill.

She goes home, sets up the cage in the kitchen by her table so she can chit chat with the bird. Nothing happens. Bird doesn’t even chirp a sound for a whole week.

Back to the pet store she goes explaining that this “chatty bird” is not saying a word. The store owner suggests that she get a toy to put in the cage to help make him happy and more chatty and sells her a toy. Off she goes home, places the toy in the cage and still nothing.

Back to the pet store she goes, asking for more suggestions. Store owner suggested a ladder inside the cage for exercise so that he would start talking. She buys the ladder, with great hopes. Nothing, not a word.

The lady tries the store owner again and he suggested a bell to create sound. She buys the bell, goes home, puts the bell inside the cage so the parrot is encouraged to make sounds.

Then the bird dies.

The lady takes the bird back to the pet store and insists on her money back. The owner asked if the bird ever muttered anything. The lady replied, “right before he died his only words were… doesn’t that pet store sell any pet food?

I love that joke even though I don’t tell it correctly. Can’t even remember all the details so I make them up as I go, different every time.

The point remains — we easily miss the obvious, FOOD, nourishment.

We need nourishment, especially when we are ill. We think a pill will fix everything or we are willing to take the latest greatest supplements. Yet we miss the obvious nourishment of laughter that is the best medicine of all. And it is free!!

May y’all find some laughter inside of yourself today,

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:  In order for me to support my blogging and social media activities, I may receive monetary compensation for links to products from this post. However, I only recommend products that I personally love and use myself. If it is not good enough for me, it certainly is not good enough for you!!

HEALTH COACH DISCLAIMER:  Health/Wellness coaching is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Trained and certified Health Coaches may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. As your health/wellness coach I do not provide a second opinion or in any way attempt to alter the treatment plans or therapeutic goals/recommendations of your personal physician. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals.

2 thoughts on “Laughing More During Chronic Illness

  1. Loved that joke 😂

    1. I laughed more simply because you liked my joke!!!!!

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