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Sense of Humor - Essay Example

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People should develop their sense of humor and laugh more because it is an inexpensive way of developing a strong body, mind, and heart. Laughter is a great way to manage illnesses and to stay in shape. Several sources discuss how humor improves the human body’s immunity. Carol Whipple and Susan Calvert, who both work for the UK Cooperative Extension Service, describe the physical benefits of exercise. They illustrate that laughter helps the muscles involved in it relax afterwards. Relaxation calms people enough to either feel less stressed or to feel less pain from their illnesses. R. Morgan Griffin writes for Web MD.com and his online article, “Give Your Body a Boost- With Laughter” gives an example of laughter being used as the best medicine. He narrates that Norman Cousin, after being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, used a “diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, [to help] him feel better. [Cousin] said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep” (Griffin 1). In these cases, laughter acts like a natural relaxation and pain-relieving pill. Furthermore, laughter is similar to a mild workout because it increases blood flow. Griffin indicates that laughing is a form of physical activity, which is reinforced through making movements, such as waving arms (1). He mentions the work of Maciej Buchowski, a Vanderbilt University researcher, who performed a small study, where he calculated the amount

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of calories that people burn from laughing. Findings showed that ten to fifteen minutes of laughter “burned 50 calories” (Griffin 1). Laughter cannot exactly replace the usual exercises, but as a physical activity, it helps people burn some calories. Moreover, a sense of humor can protect people from developing heart problems. Whipple and Calvert cite a study from the University of Maryland Medical Center (2). This study discovered that forty percent of people with heart diseases laugh less than those without it. In other words, having a positive disposition in life and laughing can be a protective factor from developing some of the lifestyle diseases plaguing modern citizens. Aside from giving people several physical benefits, a sense of humor can help them become more intelligent too. PBS.org outlines the mental effects of having a healthy sense of humor. First, a sense of humor boosts creativity (“Benefits of Humor”). This can happen because when people have a sense of humor, they tend to see issues and problems with an open mind. Open-mindedness can result to creative ideas and solutions. Second, PBS.org cites research that emphasizes the role of humor in improving problem-solving abilities. Though not fully explained, it is inferred that humor, as mentioned, helps people adequately relax to have the presence of mind that consider more options and opportunities in solving problems than people who have poor sense of humor. Third, humor can boost the memory too. PBS.org believes that research suggests that reading or watching humorous material can enhance the memory. It happens arguably because people’s senses are heightened and the brain is activated with pleasure hormones that make memorizing easier. These examples show that a sense of humor goes beyond the body and improves the mind too. Body and mind aside, a healthy sense of humor helps improve people’s emotional and social identity, as it increases resilience,
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Summary

Name Instructor Class 15 February 2013 Laughing for the Mind, Body, and Heart: The Benefits of Sense of Humor An uncle cured his lung cancer with laughter, and it saved his married too. Laughter is the best medicine, as the saying goes, and scholars are backing it up with hard evidence…
Author : laurence92
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