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Humor: Laughter is the best medicine

Do you have a sense of humor? Who is your favorite funny person, the one who can make you laugh when you need it most? It doesn’t have to be a famous person.

The official definition for “humor” is a quality that appeals to a sense of the ludicrous; comical or amusing entertainment. There are several forms of humor but four specifically help to define the person you are.

Put down humor is considered an aggressive form. This is when teasing, sarcasm and ridicule are used to make others look bad and yourself look good. It often is used when critiquing politicians where everyone laughs and it can be written off for what it is. But it is hurtful when it’s used in your “in-your-face” life. So you know, seniors (ages 64-84) don’t appreciate humor and laughing at the expense of others.

Bonding humor is the person who is fun to have around. That person is down-to-earth, warm, friendly and good at defusing tense situations. Also known as affiliative humor, it is a gentle kind of humor that helps people to deal with the losses in their lives. This kind of humor is positive and encourages friendships and often is spontaneous witty banter that makes everyone laugh.

Hate me humor is the kind when you make yourself the butt of the joke to amuse the people around you. You want to gain their favor. It is a damaging kind of humor because it begins to chip away at your self-esteem, can lead to depression and anxiety and serves to cause others to fall prey to their own negative self-talk.

Laughing at life humor. This is the person who laughs in spite of what the Universe throws at him/her. They laugh at the absurdities of life. They laugh at their situation and keep moving forward. Life has its challenges and these folks see them as challenges, not obstacles too difficult to surmount. It’s not that a person who smiles, laughs a lot and never gives up doesn’t have difficulties. Everyone has difficult times. But these people don’t let their troubles bring them down.

A lot of people have forgotten how to laugh and to laugh at themselves. Laughing is good medicine. It reduces pain, puts you in a better mood and inspires creativity. You become friendlier and have happier relationships. You don’t have to be funny to have a sense of humor. You need to not take everything too seriously and be able to see the funny side of life’s challenges and difficulties. In fact, don’t worry about being funny. Just have fun as you go along, learn some jokes. For example, Question: What do you call a line of rabbits walking backwards? Answer: A receding hare line.

Take a look at what you have in common with other people that you can joke around about. Hang out with funny people. You are affected by the company you keep.

Mark Twain was noted for his dry wit. He said such things as, “It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling,” and “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is just putting on its shoes.”

It’s OK to smile. Here’s to a happy day for all.

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral health issues. For more information, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded, in part, by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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