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"Laughter is the best medicine"

We have all heard that laughter is the best medicine. There are plenty of studies that document the benefits to our health, both physical and mental. It provides a way to transform and release whatever pain we are holding on to. What are your personal beliefs about the benefits of laughter and what do you find funny? I have added a few links that list some of the benefits of laughing.

  • Feb 27 2014: Laughing together is the best medicine, Laughing Alone needs not only medicine but a psychiatrist too.

    I find ted conversations very funny , Where someone holds the big leg of the elephant and says this is pillar, then someone else holds the ears of the elephant and says this fan, then someone holds the trunk of the elephant and says this is snake.Then someone sits on the top of the elephant and says I am sitting on the mountain...
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    • Feb 27 2014: I'm sorry for your loss, my cousin shot himself a few years ago after a long battle with drugs and depression. I think this is the main use of laughter and maybe even the root of its existence, to transform and release the pain and suffering that we hold on to, thank you very much for sharing your experience.
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        Feb 28 2014: Jacob,
        I am very sorry for your loss. I believe laughter is good medicine because it releases endorphins which are healing....crying does the same thing according to research.
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      Feb 28 2014: I am so sorry for your loss Carolyn....my heart goes out to you.
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    Feb 24 2014: I think there is laughter everywhere. I've always had a sense of humor but as I get older (I'm 63) I see so much more of it. Corn old jokes, harmless pranks are rich sources. I often find myself laughing to myself at an old joke.

    While there are very serious matters in life, the bulk of it is really funny. The religious part of me believes that God has a great sense of humor.
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    Feb 28 2014: Dear All
    My Mum passed away over 10-year.

    Sharing my experiences: One day, I got up. My pain was gone.

    Some *beautiful phrases* are still available in my heart and my mind.

    In Peace,
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    Feb 28 2014: Laughter blended with serenity and contentment is very good medicine.
  • Feb 25 2014: It has been shown that a positive attitude helps. I would guess laughter is part of that positive outlook.
  • Feb 24 2014: I find chaos funny and it is everywhere.
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    Feb 23 2014: .
    The best medicine is to do instinctively.
    • Feb 23 2014: Do you figure laughter falls into the catagory of instintively? Even babies laugh, its one of the few things we are born able to do.
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        Feb 28 2014: .
        Laughter is one of our instincts.
        Our instincts cure most diseases without laughter.
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    Feb 22 2014: don't really understand the statement because a person only laughs once in a while, right, but if you have some health problem you need help more than once in a while?
    • Feb 22 2014: Absolutely, I don't think its a replacement for modern medicine, just a time honored supplement. Maybe the more you laugh the healthier you'll be, in fact I think a lot of the research points to that. Always good talking with you sir, we've had some good conversations!
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        Feb 23 2014: good point, Jacob, but the way the saying is phrased they're saying it's the best? Maybe they don't literally mean the best?

        So what comedians do you like? I used to enjoy Jay Leno, but he's just left.
        • Feb 23 2014: I'm not sure who first said that quote. It may not be the "best" treatment for specific illnesses, but its the cheapest and readily on hand, with widespread benefits. So laugh it up sir!

          Thats a tough one, Dave Chappelle, is pretty funny, and I've seen a couple Louis C.K specials that had me laughing. Back when I had cabletv I enjoyed watching the Daily Show, ol Jon Stewart is pretty sharp.
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        Feb 23 2014: now when you say readily on hand, do you mean sit and make up jokes in your own mind? Or do you mean turn on the comedy channel? Or.....?
        • Feb 23 2014: Ha, no sir I'm no comedian. I mean if you look around you can find plenty of thing to lighten you day. Our dogs can almost always get me laughing just by watching them play. I guess I mean that if you are in the rigjt frame of mind you can find humor in this world almost anywhere you look, you don't need any special equipment to get it, and it never runs out. Seems like a win/win.
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        Feb 23 2014: looking at my own photo on this conversation might make me laugh?
        • Feb 23 2014: Good medicine! We have to be able to laugh ourselves. A very healthy habit to develop!
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        Feb 23 2014: any reason you don't upload a profile photo, Jacob? Not that I would laugh at that.
        • Feb 23 2014: I don't have a computer and my phone doesn't support adobe some such thing that is required to upload pictures.
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        Feb 24 2014: be kind of weird if people started getting in the habit of dressing like Bozo occasionally. Did you guys get the Bozo the Clown program in Texas? Here's what Bozo looked like: https://www.google.com/search?q=bozo&rlz=1T4FUJN_enUS508US509&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=EjgLU_aYKMqwoQTknYCoAg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=911&bih=426#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=rAbdyvW328FeuM%253A%3BUehqp5sxVDP1TM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fjonbalun.files.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F01%252Fbozo.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fjonbalun.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F01%252F23%252Fhow-to-find-a-boaz-instead-of-a-bozo-lessons-learned-from-ruth%252F%3B250%3B275

        For example, everyone is waiting for the President of the United States to come out, and when he comes out he's madeup like Bozo. Or you get called in to see your doctor, and when you get inside, he's madeup like Bozo. Or you call the police for some problem, and when they show up, they're made up like Bozo.
        • Feb 24 2014: Ha! I guess there's a time and place for everything and maybe slapstick isn't the best type of humor in every situation, but some humor would probably make these situations more productive. Laugh to grease the wheels.

          I seem to recall a bozo knockoff coming to our elementary school but Poltergeist ruined me for clowns ha ha.
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        Feb 24 2014: now if you don't have a computer, how do you participate in TED conversations? Through your phone? That's an awful lot of texting?
        • Feb 24 2014: I can get on the old intraweb via my fancy phone. Yes it is a pain in the rear trying to type on this thing but its worth it. I enjoy taking part in these conversations and the TEDtalks as well.
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        Feb 24 2014: here's a funny TED talk by Charlie Todd: http://www.ted.com/talks/charlie_todd_the_shared_experience_of_absurdity.html He runs an org called Improv Everywhere, where they arrange pranks that many participate in. For instance, there's one called the Subway No-pants where on a certain day of the year people ride the subway in their underwear. It started out in New York City, now it's spread to about 20 big cities, here in Los Angeles we just had no pants subway day about a month ago. Would you participate in one of these pranks if you had a chance, Jacob?
        • Feb 24 2014: I just watched that the other day and it is funny! Don't think id jump in though, bit of an introvert and not at all a performer. It seemed like good stuff, like the guys giving high fives. How many smiles did he put on people's faces that day? Not just the people he high fived, but countless others that were just bystanders. Now THAT'S good medicine.
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        Feb 24 2014: Well, what if you didn't have to perform, just get on a subway car in your briefs and ride it? Then? Or do you already consider getting on a subway car in your briefs a performance?

        Is life good when you're a bit of an introvert? What is good about being a bit of an introvert? Life might be more fun when you're less inhibited? I wonder if I could nudge you toward being less inhibited, Jake? Like the easiest way might be to take a beginning acting class, where there's probably some people who are kind of inhibited. Then you can get into slowly and try it out, not like you're necessarily trying to become a professional actor, but just to challenge yourself.

        Here in Los Angeles I occasionally work as a TV-movie extra. It has been fun over the years, having different costumes, makeup, playing different roles. Even though extras don't have lines, they do still act to some degree. The last two shows I did were comedies, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Arrested Development. I suppose the spirit on set is a little lighter than when you do dramas. But people on dramas laugh, too. Like I did Murder in the First with Christian Slater and Kevin Bacon (Christian is an attorney and Kevin a prisoner), and when Christian visits Kevin in prison and they're communicating through glass on these little telephones, Kevin was using the phone handset as a moustache between takes.
        • Feb 24 2014: I dont think I could keep a straight face like the guys in the video. The look on her face was pretty funny though. I cant complain about my life and living inside my head is all I've ever known. My wife drags me out of yhe house ever so often and makes me join the public, but its not something I 've ever enjoyed. I had to grow a little when I was managing a warehouse a few years ago and had to give talks and have meetings with th 50+ people I was responsible for. But these days the only socializing I do is here at TED and the habitat for humanity on Saturdays(but even there, its mostly work and little socializing).
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        Feb 25 2014: well, we have to ask how actors do keep a straight face when they do comedy, for instance when they are saying a lot of funny lines. I think it's because they practice the funny scenes a number of times so they get all their laughs out, then when it comes time to do it for an audience they can keep a straight face.

        Now with the underwear prank, they probably didn't practice it. But they probably talked about it a fair amount beforehand so I would think as they talked about it, discussed all the things that could happen, and so on, they would have gotten all their laughs out and could do it with a straight face?
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        Feb 25 2014: well, to me, Jake, hosting a TED conversation has some aspect of giving a performance? Giving talks at the warehouse had some aspect of giving a performance?
        • Feb 25 2014: Its crowds that make me uneasy, these talks are cheesecake, though i have to watch my temper sometimes when some folks get a little agressive. Yes sir, the warehouse meetings were like a performance and I got better with time, but never got comfortable with it, though being a smartass helped me relieve some of my tension, it was definitely a learning experience.
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        Feb 25 2014: what is it about crowds that makes you uneasy?

        If getting in front of crowds makes you uneasy, then I think you should challenge yourself and try to get to a place where they don't make you uneasy (or at least make you less uneasy.) Get out of your comfort zone? I remember reading a Jewish idea that if something is difficult for you, you should seize every chance to do it?
        • Feb 27 2014: I dont really know, but its not just being in front of them, I don't like being in crowds. I'm not sure its a good idea for me seize every chance as my unease usually turns pretty quickly into anger and hostility. Taking part in these conversations over the last couple of months has been my baby step back into society. In years past I would go days at a time without speaking to another person(I would however sweettalk the stray cat that became by boon companion, ha ha).
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        Feb 27 2014: well, then, I'm proud of you for communicating here. But I think you're underrating yourself, Jacob, participating in and hosting these TED convos, I think, shows you have quite sophisticated communication skills. In my opinion life is more fun and interesting when a person socializes more, but you've been on both sides, what do you think, does introversion have its good side?

        But I'm pretty sure if you wanted to you could do the subway underwear day. Nowadays people do it in 20 major cities on the same day each year, like 1,500 people did it when it was here in Los Angeles a month ago. Maybe you would start giggling at first, but I can't see where that would hurt anything. It would give you some good stories to tell.

        A couple of times I went to a nude beach and got naked, that was really pleasant.

        At times laughter does seem to have a good effect on me. The last few nights, at times as I lie in bed waiting to go to sleep, I try to think of funny things. One or two nights it helped me sleep better.

        My little performance thing is I like to dance in unusual places. Like I'll dance while I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, or while I'm standing on the corner waiting for the light to turn green. It's good exercise and makes me feel lively.

        For laughs I was watching Insane Clown Posse, 'cause my second cousin and her son are into them. They are a rap duo from Detroit. Here's a video of them critiquing Katy Perry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufItQ2xSJVY Here they are on the Howard Stern Show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFy2yyl7pMY