July 10th Lunch Program: Shannon Maldonado, Health Education Coordinator for Atlantic Health, presented "Laughter in Medicine."
Shannon started her presentation by asking everyone to laugh as loud as they could. The room filled with laughter and everyone else in the restaurant wondered why we were laughing. She said that our laugh was the best she had ever heard. We are filling our lungs with air while we laugh, which is a very good thing to do. More importantly, “Laughter is the best Medicine.” Laughter is a human trait that extends across all cultures and ages. Some laughter is appropriate; some is not (like making fun of someone). Also, we laugh at different humorous situations because of our personal preferences. Laughter is controlled by our brain, working with muscles.
Laughter is good for our health. Laughter reduces our stress hormones. In a stressful situation, try to laugh it out. It boosts our immune system. It lowers our blood pressure and increases blood flow. It is a natural pain killer.
Laughing 100 times is equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine. Instead of a lot of hard exercise, try to laugh a lot. An average six-year old laughs 300 times per day and adult laughs 17. We adults should be less serious and laugh more. Watching a couple of hours of funny TV reruns will burn 100 calories. No chips allowed.
When you are in a stressful situation, we need to Laugh Out Loud (LOL is used a lot in texting, email, etc.). Remind yourself that life is about having fun. Lighten up. Read a funny book. Laugh at yourself. Tell jokes. Browse humorous books at Barns and Nobel. Browse funny cards at Hallmark. Build your own laughter library. Figure out what makes YOU laugh. Wear a smile.
The audience happily applauded this great presentation.