A Belly Full! - Rick Amitin

A Belly Full!

FatCat by wackyvorlon on flickr
Image courtesy of Paul Anderson via flickr.com

Laughter is the best medicine. According to helpguide.org “A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. It boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.”

Feeling rundown? WebMD admonishes you to give your body a boost — with laughter. If people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off, says Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist. (who knew) Having been a regular sit-down comic, performing for free over many years, I’m about to stand up and get paid. Laughter by itself might not be a cure-all. But working in concert with a positive attitude, the support of family and friends, a good sense of humor can pay huge dividends.

It is believed that we change physiologically when we laugh. William Fry, a pioneer in laughter research, claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would reach after just one minute of hearty laughter. And laughter appears to burn calories, too. Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study and determined 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories. (Is this diet featured on Dr.Oz?) If I can bottle, and patent laughter, I’m gonna be rich. Oh yeah, carbs will still be a problem. Shucks, portion size does matter. Exercise too? Dang it!

Terminator by Paul Townsend on flickr
Image courtesy of Paul Townson via flickr.com

I’ve been without a laugh before. I can attest it’s no fun. Personally, laughter has saved me, many times. A good old-fashioned belly laugh can transform you faster than two shots of 5-Hour Energy. (My own opinion. No supporting data available) More of my own insights reveal real life experiences, of deep laughter, can set you free. It’s also sustainable. Tip: Keep thinking about what made you laugh so hard. For as long as you can. Before you return to what occupied you before you laughed. Hey, if you don’t have your own plan use mine until you do. Just sayin!

The latest research also shows that laughter, humor, and happiness play a key role in longevity. My analysis is this; if you go around like you’re the designated bump on a dill pickle you might want to go ahead and make your final arrangements early. I know everything isn’t laughable. Certainly not to everybody. We were walking to a cooking class with our grandson when a bird, totally without regard for human life, did the unmentionable on his head. I’m not usually a hunter, but if I had Schwarzenegger’s machine gun, or even David’s sling shot there would be one dead bird laying in the street in downtown San Francisco. Our boy didn’t think it was funny. And it wasn’t. But his reaction was. I hid my chuckles the best I could.

I’m getting dressed one morning. With pants and shirt already on, I slipped into one sock when, the phone rings. I throw the other sock over my shoulder. I’m in a hurry but the person on the phone isn’t picking up on the signals. I finally escape Ma Bell only to find my other sock is missing. I conducted a thorough investigation before filing a missing sock report. I took the one sock off and put on another pair.

I head down the road and decide to make a quick stop at the store. I rush in, find what I want, head for check out. Standing in line something catches my eye. I look down to find the missing sock had mysteriously returned. I didn’t ask where it had been. I just reached up, graciously took it into my hand, and placed it in my pocket. My sock had come home. It was an intimate moment I desperately wanted to be alone with. Scanning my immediate surroundings, for possible intruders, I locked eyes with a woman who obviously had violated my wishes.

Missing socks by Casey Decker on deviantart
Image courtesy of Casey Decker via deviantart.com

Yes, she was laughing. At me! I had to laugh too. On the way out she asked me how long I had looked for the sock? I know it’s not nice to laugh at other people. And, if my intuition is correct, I’m too late to give you permission. You’ve probably  already had, a belly full, at my expense! Well, you’re welcome. Here’s to good health!

I invite you to share a personal funny in comments! 




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