It’s still too early to plant flowers in the terra cotta pots by our front door, but we can tell that spring is just around the corner. Regardless of the weather, our year-round resident — Laughing Buddha — greets us with his buoyant body language and effervescent smile that never fails to trigger a chuckle.
Anatomically speaking, we all know that the most important bone in our body is the Funny Bone. For full health benefits, it’s imperative to exercise it on a regular basis.
Scientific studies show that humor stimulates the brain’s reward center in the same ways as sex and chocolate. In turn, this reward center secretes two hormones into the brain: dopamine and serotonin. Also known as “happiness molecules,” these anti-stress chemicals are associated with the feeling of happiness.
As we grow older, the production of these chemicals in the body decreases, so laughing becomes all the more important with increasing age.
When was the last time your funny bone got a workout?
Amidst the unfunninous of life these days, I try to exercise my funny bone on a daily basis. It’s not hard to do. I just try to watch myself as I move through the day making human mistakes. Like telling my husband to quit swearing at other drivers and finding myself doing it just a few hours later. 😉
Joan — Your example made me laugh! 🙂
My husband and I were just chuckling over the antics of our cats. 🙂
Merril — I know exactly what you’re talking about. When we had our two Tuxedo cats (who lived to be 18 years old), they kept us in stitches! 🙂
Almost every day! Sometimes many times a day. With such unexpected things happening all the time, how can we not chuckle and sometimes laugh uproariously?
Kathy — Life’s a hoot when we stop to see the humor (even if we have to look for it) and enjoy it! 🙂
I just realized the “gold” Buddha I have is a laughing Buddha. He is on my “Breakfast counter” and has been present somewhere near by for sometime now. Laughter has not been much of life. Not the humor is not present, true laughter is a bit lacking.
Your photo of laughing Buddha caused me to smile, when Muffin considers rolling wherever during our walks always reminds me to be happy, I find myself smiling…
Jeff — And to realize you had a Laughing Buddha nearby all the while 🙂 Our Willa rolls like your Muffin — and every time she does it, I smile too 🙂
Oh my two boys are constant sources. I could choose to be upset with some of their antics or just be in the moment with them and laugh. My funny bone wins most of the time;)
Lana — I’m glad your funny bone wins most of the time 🙂
Like Joan, moving through the day making human mistakes tickles my funny bones and muscles. Last evening my husband and I were trying to pull up a movie on XFinity. We were almost defeated by the clunky up/down arrows on the remote and just breathing on the wrong letters. At first we were sad, then got mad, and finally laughed hilariously at our fat thumbs and the craziness of it all. Yes, “a merry heart maketh good like medicine”!
Marian — I love the example you shared that it ended in laughter! 🙂
Laurie, excellent question! I am most often a laughing person, laughter is an essential part of my living. I don’t consider myself as being “light-minded” as in being frivolous or “2 bricks shy a load”, but able to see humor where it is not always apparent. Even though I have the capacity for an equal depth of solemnity, it’s more often a burst of laughter that breaks out. If I haven’t had a good laugh by the time I release the Chicken Ladies from their High Rise Condo for for Sophisticated Country Chicks ( the chicken house) one is almost surely guaranteed as they come boiling out the door, eager for breakfast and the new day.
Sandi — Over the years you’ve shared enough of the Chicken Ladies’ antics for me to know that like Old Faithful, they’re a continuous source of laughter for you 🙂
Our middle dog Dilys (looks like the one on findyourmiddleground.com) She is a hoot. We call her miss-chief! Always wagging her tail and looking for attention, cuddles and adventures!
Shared laughter is the best – its brings us together 🙂
Val — You bring up the best subject: SHARED laughter! And our companion animals are a great trigger for that. 🙂
Love u’r laughing Buddha! Attracts good cheer and luck. 🙂
1EarthUnited — I don’t doubt it in the least 🙂
I am currently watching 2 episodes of The Big Bang Theory everyday as it is the only programme on TV that makes me cry with laughter.
Fatimasaysell — It’s been a while I laughed so hard I cried, but I LOVE that feeling. You’re piqued my interest — I’ll have to see if I can find The Big Bang Theory on the internet 🙂
I love Big Bang Theory! It’s the only one I’ll make time to watch.
You have good taste. I actually recorded the series before Xmas and I’m watching it now on my days off.
This morning when Shasta told me it was time to get up. She greets me with wagging tail and kisses, bouncing about on the bed with excitement. It’s a morning ritual now. And then again when she got Bailey’s ball and came to me with great pride to show me what she had done. Again.
Carol — I love that our animal companions bring so much joy into our lives. And truth be told, I think it’s us who needs them way more than they need us! 🙂
As a child at school I was an infuriating giggler .I was sent out of class so many times for laughing , I just couldn’t stop . Then in my thirties I suffered manic depression and completely forgot how to laugh . My husband , always the joker, never stopped trying to make me laugh …he never gave up on me . He knew if he dug deeply enough he’d make me laugh again . Thankfully , with his help, I have found my giggle button again and I’m never going to give it up . Laughter is the best medicine Laurie without a doubt .
Cherry — I oh-so-appreciate your personal example. Clearly your husband is a wonderful person. I’m so glad he helped you find your “giggle button” 🙂
Children, especially my youngest nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, are often great sources of joy and laughter. They remind me to play and not be so serious.
I’m so grateful for them.
Audrey — You’ve hit the nail on the head. PLAY is one of the key elements to laughter 🙂
I get to laugh a lot.
Having the dogs, Huia and Sandy, are a constant source of amusement for me. Their motivations are so transparent, and the conflicts in drives so obvious, particularly with Huia, who can change behaviours several times a second.
Ailsa also is constantly intentionally misinterpeting most things I say, which is funny most of the time and annoying some of the time (when I’m in programming mode, and don’t have enough spare processing capacity to investigate alternative interpretations).
And I have the sort of sense of humour that used to seriously embarrass my children, as I would be the only one in the picture theatre laughing out loud, I seem to often see things that most others don’t and miss the things that most others see – swings and roundabouts!
Ted — You described — perfectly! — how I’ve pictured your home life 🙂
Not so much these days…
Olga — I know that your father recently passed away and you’re in the midst of grieving. My condolences to you and yours.
Oh this is easy Laurie we were with family this past weekend and telling stories of which some were so funny I was laughing until I was holding my stomach with tears rolling down my cheeks. Feels so good! I didn’t know that these “happiness molecules” decreased with age. I had noticed that I laugh less as I get older and it was something I noticed about my father who has the best giggle laugh when something pleases him. I had wondered about this. So, will seek out more opportunities for good laughs.
Terrill — Your description of laughing until you cried made me laugh. And with a dad who has the “best giggle laugh” when something pleases him, I’m glad you’re going to be intention about making it so 🙂
My husband and kitty always bring a smile to my face and laughter to my heart.
Innocent Bystander — Your comment brought a huge smile to my face, thank you 🙂
I work out my Funny Bone quite often, Laurie. I also try to “augment” my workouts occasionally by watching ridiculous YouTube videos or reading funny blogs. To our health and longevity!
Dana — Right back atcha siSTAR — CHEERS to health and longevity 🙂
I work out regularly! Every day and it truly gives some health benefits 😀
Tiny — Glad to hear it! 🙂
Thank you for this reminder, Laurie. I try to work a giggle into every day. : )
Leanne — Excellent! 🙂
Like others here, I try to laugh at my own foibles. I also love to listen to podcasts, which can have some wonderful human interest, real-life humor in “The Moth,” “This American Life,” and other personal stories. My husband still makes me laugh, one of the strongest glues in our 45-year marriage.
Shirley — human foibles and humorous-husbandly-glue. I can relate to both 🙂 Now I’m going to have to search out those podcasts…
I am attempting not to laugh right now, because it sets off the cough reflect with this pneumonia unfunny infection!
I will tweet to get other’s laughing
Patricia — I hope you’re better than ever before you know it! 🙂
That is quite a statue of that Buddha Laurie!! The last time I got a serious laugh workout was when I sat down with two of my kids to watch some Honeymooners episodes -seen so many times over the years- during the New Year’s television marathon. Jackie Gleason and Ed Norton are a sure-fire way to have you rolling. 🙂
Sam — Oh my gosh, I remember those shows with great fondness. As you said, sure-fire laughter every time! 🙂
An interesting approach… I hadn´t realized the laugh on Buddha´s face until you mentioned it!. Thanks for sharing and all my best wishes to you. Aquileana 😀
Aquileana — Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Tim & I are always laughing at our foibles and fumbling…
Barbara — It’s heartening to know there are similar souls out there 🙂
I love to laugh. I think humor is one of the most important things in life.
Marie — I think we’re kindred spirits 🙂