Prescribing LOL

Hand squeezes a syringe of as a laughing yellow liquid drop falls from the needle.Has a doctor ever given you a prescription for laughter? No? Too bad, because laughter may very well be the most non-toxic, life-altering drug we can get! It doesn’t matter what’s ailing us, whether it be cancer, diabetes, cerebral palsy, high blood pressure, or arthritis—laughter can help all those conditions. Not to mention other things that may threaten our well-being, such as unemployment, grief, traffic jams, and the tremendous confusion and stress of trying to wrap our brains around the Affordable Healthcare Act and other insurance matters.

The good news is that no matter what insurance policy you have, or what your deductible is, laughter is free! Yup, it’s free, and if your doctor will not write you a prescription for it, then write your own. If you have to have a visual, then take an empty pill bottle, put a “laughter” label on it, and fill it with sugar-free candy. Every time you take a laughter pill, you must laugh for 10 minutes! Dosages may vary, but I personally recommend at least three “pills” a day.

Why? Because it will make you feel better, and that good feeling is highly contagious, so you’ll help others feel better too! Laugh with your family, friends, colleagues and doctors. If this is not possible, then laugh all by yourself. You might even consider laughing with strangers. However, I do caution that your laughter be in good fun, no cruel jokes at someone else’s expense. That will only prolong whatever ails you in the first place.

It might also surprise you that you don’t even have to have a sense of humor to laugh, although it certainly helps. Laughter is a powerful healing tonic physiologically. The brain does not know the difference between a real laugh and a phony one—unlike a fake orgasm. When we laugh, the brain releases endorphins that ease the stress and pain we’re dealing with. Truthfully, if I personally did not have a sense of humor, I would have given up a long time ago.

Recently I had to meet with a social worker about the daunting

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subject of health insurance and disability: HMOs, PPOs, who’s covered, who’s not, and what I needed to do to qualify. I was so overwhelmed that I was on the verge of tears, when all of the sudden I smiled and said, “Do you think Helen Keller had to deal with all this @*#&?” I laughed, the social worker laughed, and we both enjoyed the momentary comic relief and felt a tad healthier for it.

Bear in mind that the language of laughter is universal. Yes, we may not all laugh at the same things, but if anyone were to play a CD with only the sound of laughter on it, we would all “get it,” find ourselves tickled, and join in.

When I was a kid, my whole family would often start laughing at the dinner table, and usually it was my older brother, Fred, who started it. If it was a particularly intense atmosphere—maybe my sister, Gloria, being forced to finish eating something she hated, or my dad being in a foul mood for no other reason than that fact that he was in a foul mood—Fred would cut through the tension by making faces when dad wasn’t looking. Or he might take food off Gloria’s plate in plain sight, and “hide” it under her plate. Even my dad could not help but laugh. It changed the energy at the table, and suddenly we were all giggling and enjoying one another’s company.

Remember the line from the movie, Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does?” Well consider this: Funny is as funny does! And yes, funny does a lot of things— mainly give us a break from all the frickin’ drama that can bombard us from all directions, blocking our innate childlike nature that delights in having fun. So don’t forget to take your laughter medication three times a day and LOL.

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by Geri Jewell

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