April is National Humor Month. National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by comedian and best-selling author Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor. Steve Wilson, Psychologist, Joyologist, Cheerman of the Bored and Founder of World Laughter Tour, is the Director of National Humor Month. Fun and Happy designated days in April are International Fun-At-Work Day on April 5th and Pursuit of Happiness Day on April 13th. (April 13th is Thomas Jefferson's birthday. He is author of the famous 'pursuit of happiness' phrase in our Declaration of Independence.) To bring joy into your life through humor, pick one of the above days to celebrate.
Gelotology is the study of laughter and its effects on the body, from a psychological and physiological perspective. Many studies exist supporting the use of Humor to cope with our day-to-day stressors as well as improve our health.
According to the World Laughter Tour website, a few health benefits of laughter are:
- Combats Respiratory Infections - By increasing antibodies in saliva - Decreases serum cortisol
- Reduces Pain - Releases endorphins to provide pain relief
- Relaxes Muscles - Muscular tension and laughter are incompatible
- Positive Mental Function - Changes perspective with improved mood
- Changes perspective with improved mood - Through cardio-vascular efficiency
- Helps the Body Fight Infection - Liberates numerous immune boosters
- Improves Tissue Function & Growth - Supplies nutrients and oxygen to tissues
- Happiness Linked to Longevity - Live a longer, more fulfilled life
Laughter is a healthy way of dealing with stress in our lives. Stress affects us all, but finding healthy ways to cope can lessen the burden on our health. Read the 5 Things You Should Know About Stress from the National Institute of Health.
Article provided by Dana Breeding, RN Health Educator with Community Outreach.