It has been said so often and in so many ways, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how good of a medicine IS laughter? Can it help in the quest of Living With Heart Disease?

When was the last time you just reared back and had a lengthy guffaw? When was your last adventure of rolling on the floor with laughter? Have you chortled lately? Seriously…when was the last time you just had a good deep within your gut belly laugh? Victor Borge said, “Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” Think about it. If we could possibly get the leaders of North and South Korea together for a good “Why did the chicken…” joke, perhaps we could avoid so many threats of war. Some of the jokes that garner my greatest laughs are the simple ones that come from my granddaughters, who range in ages from 2 to 9 years. Like, if a cow starts laughing really hard, will milk come out of its nose? Well, will it?

Sometimes I just think back on funny moments my own children brought me, like the day my son was standing at the front glass of my dad’s place of business, watching the busy 4-lane highway before him. It was almost time for the Citrus Festival to begin, and various floats were cruising by to take their place in the next town for the parade scheduled that night. Suddenly I heard my little 4-year-old man yell at the top of his lungs, “Oh my gosh, Mama! Look! The world is fallin’ apart!” I looked up to see a float passing by, and unfortunately, the globe on top had caught a headwind and was torn and flapping in the breeze. One child’s point of view can surely vary from that of an adult, but the childlike part of me found it hilarious. Being childlike isn’t necessarily always a bad thing.

Or there was the time my cousin, still a toddler, loudly announced to the entire congregation during the pastor’s sermon that my uncle had just suffered a severe case of flatulence (that’s the tasteful version). Yeah, kids have a way of calling it like it is, don’t they? Remember Art Linkletter and “Kids Say the Darndest Things”?

I’m sure we can even think of some of our own most embarrassing moments… you know, the ones you don’t want to recall, like the time I was walking to the front of the church right after a visit to the restroom, only to have my sister-in-law waddling and grabbing me from behind me in an effort to pull my skirt out of my pantyhose, where it was neatly jammed inside my panties! I made it to the front of the church before she got my attention, but I’m sure I managed to get everyone else’s attention long before that point! See, you’re smiling, at my expense, you’re about to break into a laugh, aren’t you? It’s okay. I’ve done more mortifying things than that in my lifetime—and so have you!

Bob Dylan is quoted as having said, “You can fake an orgasm, but you can’t fake laughter.” Well, Mr. Dylan, you have quite a point there. I get called a “cockeyed optimist,” “silly girl,” and it is often said of me, “She just ain’t right sometimes,” but I love to find something to laugh about…often! I don’t mind making a monkey out of myself at times (Even they enjoy laughter).

I will go out of my way to find humor in just about any situation. (Okay, I control myself at funerals). Sometimes I crack a funny while riding around with hubby, and he either shakes his head in total amusement (or disbelief) or asks me to put a lid on it long enough for him to reach our destination without running off the road. I get so tickled with myself, I laugh until I cry… or worse… (There you go again, another chuckle, wasn’t it?)

So, back to the original question: Is laughter a good medicine? Check out this article from the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Apparently, laughter is one good option for avoiding another heart attack. So, shall we throw the confetti, pop some popcorn and break out the sit-com videos? Let’s do a block of Saturday Night Live or Blue Collar Comedy and work toward better heart health. This is one time it’s a good thing that the joke’s on you. And remember—he/she who laughs last laughs loudest…and will probably live longer! Yee-haw!!

Visit Carolyn’s Everyday Health blog, Emotional Wellbeing, or visit her at her website:

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