As a home health nurse,

I see patients not only in their homes but in assisted living facilities too.

The other day I walked into a facility to see a patient.  I obediently put on my mask and face shield.  When I approached the front desk, my forehead was scanned to check my temperature and I answered questions about if I had any symptoms of being ill.

After the initial check-in was completed, I greeted some staff members as I strolled through the hallway to the patients’ room.  When I arrived, the patient asked me to sit down in a chair facing her.

I got comfortable and realized something wasn’t right.  “Wow,” I said, “it’s dark in here.  Do you mind if I turn on the lights?”

She said, “Yes.”

I turned on the lights, then sat back down and opened my computer.  “Shoot,” I thought, “I can’t see, I need my readers.”  I reached over to my bag, pulled out my glasses and put them on under my shield.

Awe all is good but, “Gosh darn it, it’s still dark?  What is going on?”  I was puzzled and couldn’t figure out why I was still having a hard time seeing.

It wasn’t until I reached under the shield with my hand to readjust my glasses that I realized I still had my sunglasses on from when I was outside.   “Oh Lord, help me,” I thought.

The patient started laughing.

Between fits of laughter I asked her, “Why didn’t you tell me I had my sunglasses on?”

Her response was, “Oh honey, it was too fun watching you!”

I am such a ding-a-ling.  Everyone in the facility that I said hi to must of thought I was nutty.  Of course, I am totally blaming this on the stress of the COVID-19!!

Oh well.  What kind of a life would it be if I could not laugh at myself!  I must have some humor in my life, or I don’t think I could survive.  Even animals have the sense of mind to laugh.

Maybe your wondering what is the big deal about laughing.  With so many quotes, songs, poems, and pictures about laughing, it must be vital to us.  Why is laughter so important?

Having giggles or guffaws allows us to release pent up stress, worries, and sadness.  But, how does it help with the stress?”

Evidently when we have a good, hearty laugh it relieves physical tension and stress, leaving our muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.  Well, no wonder I feel better after I have a good laugh.

But there is more.  Laughter boosts our immune system, decreases stress hormones, and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving our resistance to disease.

Wow!  Laughter not only makes us feel better, but it helps improve our immune system to keep us healthy.  I’m all for that!

According to a Mayo Clinic newsletter article, “Stress Relief from Laughter?  It’s No Joke,” laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air and stimulates many of your body organs.  Relief of pain is another benefit of laughter by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. 

Check out the article:

The biggest benefit of laughter is it improves your mood.  Count me in!  It’s exhausting being down, sad or angry.

What if your sense of humor is underdeveloped?  Here are some helpful hints.  Find things that make you chuckle such as funny quotes, hilarious pictures, maybe some funny movies or shows.  Let yourself go and laugh.  If you do something ridiculous, give yourself some grace, find the funny side of it and share it with others so they can enjoy the laugh with you.  Maybe they too can experience a little relief of stress.

“If you can laugh at yourself, you are going to be fine.  If you allow others to laugh with you, you will be great.” – Martin Niemoller


Spend time with friends who make you laugh.  ”The best kind of stomachache is when your friends make you laugh way too hard” – Unknown

I don’t necessarily like sharing the stupid things I do or the weird things that happen to me, but I do like a good laugh and I most certainly like to see other people experience the same.

Go ahead, giggle, let out a few guffaws and allow for times when you can have a rip-roaring belly laugh!  Humor may turn out to improve your health and your outlook on life.

“To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.” – William Arthur Ward



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