The Positive and Healing Power of Humor

By Jerry Aragon –

Humor is not just going out on the Internet and gathering a bunch of jokes.  Humor is much more than that.  “When you make me laugh, I’m not depressed anymore!”  Professionals tell us that there can only be one emotion occupy one space at any given time.  Therefore…you’re either happy or you’re sad.

From: The Association for Therapeutic Humor;

What is therapeutic humor?  Therapeutic humor is any intervention that promotes health and wellness by stimulating a playful discovery, expression, or appreciation of the absurdity of life’s situations.

I’ve been in the humor business for over 50 years, I never get tired of putting a smile on somebody’s face!  All of us know that laughter is the best medicine for whatever ails you, and it has been humor and positive thinking that has helped me cope through my darkest days…and there have been many!  No matter what or how severe…PAIN IS PAIN!  And, pain comes in many different flavors.  When it comes to pain…there is no discrimination…everybody is treated equally…like HELL!

In my case, and because of a child-hood injury, that was never fixed, the ensuing years brought a 20 year battle with the crippling and unforgiving migraine headaches.  In the year 2008, there are over 40 million headache sufferers in the United States…and there is still no cure!  I have been a life-long sufferer of headaches of one type or another, and.or one degree or another.  And, with all the pain that comes with headaches…depression; anxiety; stress; nose-bleeds; high-blood pressure; loss of weight; despair; loss of confidence/self-esteem, etc.

From: Healing;

The healthy-promotion and healing power of humorous was given its biggest boost by Norman Cousins’ book, “The Anatomy of an Illness,” published in 1979.  He came down with a serious illness called ankylosing spondlitis, and was given a 1 in 500 chance of surviving.  Cousins was aware of the evidence from psychomatic research showing that negative emotions were harmful to one’s health.  So, he reasoned that the opposite must also be true.  The positive emotions should promote health and healing.  Cousins beat the odds and survived.

In my book, The Positive and Healing Power of Humor (work-in-progress), I would like to share with the reader and help those afflicted with their own pain…and encourage them to say that there is HOPE!  Bring humor and positive attitude into your life and you, too, will win the battle at to whatever ails you!

For over twenty years, my life has been an awful roller-coaster ride…feeling good one day…and rotten the next…and all the depression and despair that goes with it.  A summary is as follows.

Nearly homeless several times; worked as a temporary employee for over a decade; without a vehicle for over seven years; bleeding ulcers; weight-loss; little or no confidence; over 150 visits to medical facilities; loss of educational benefits (GI Bill); no family support; poor memory/retention; poor student; high blood pressure; depression; contracted TB; didn’t get a credit card until I was 38 years old, etc.

The one thing that helped me get through it all, was to keep a journal, because of a terrible memory on my part.  It enabled me to go back and see what progress I was making in the areas of diet; exercise, medication, pain, attitude and so forth.

From:  Pub Med

In the past three decades, the medical world has begun to take a more serious notice of the healing power of humor, and the positive emotions associated with it.  Humor and laughter are currently being employed by psychotherapists and other caregivers as tools to promote and maintain health, as well as intervention and rehabilitation tools for a host of maladies and illnesses related to stress and life-style.  Although this empirical medical approach is relatively new, the study of humor has revealed a complex psychological phenomenon.

Laughter has many clinical benefits, promoting beneficial psychological changes and an over-all sense of well-being.  Humor even has long-term effects that strengthen the effectiveness of the immune system.  In healthcare, humor therapy can help relieve stress associated with disease and illness.  It serves as a diversionary tactic, a therapeutic tool for disorders such as depression and a coping mechanism.  Additional benefits from humor include:

* Humor can help to create a positive work place, which can be excellent for creativity and idea development.  Humor and creativity just seem to go together.

* Research has shown, that having the ability to laugh at ourselves, at all the crazy and insane things we all do, can be healthy for our well-being.

* Humor can help bring people together, and that’s important because teamwork is a high priority in the work place.

* Humor can help us all cope with the aging process.

* Research has shown, that the punch line can help the bottom line.


What is the difference between humor and laughter?  Laughter is innate, and you are born with your giggles.  You have unique sounds of laughter .  Your laughter may sound similar to other’s laughter, but your sound is brilliantly your laughter.  Laughter exists on its own merit.  You do not have to “get the joke,” hear a story or decipher a code in order to laugh!

So, my advice is for everyone to take a large dose of vitamin H…jest for the health of it!

Love; peace; freedom; friendship; trust; humor…it’s nice to be part of some of the most important words in the world.

How about a little corny humor?

Two peanuts were walking down the street when they were assaulted!

A few resources include:

– Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor;

– World Laughter;

– Laughing;

ARTICLES PUBLISHED; (280+ websites/includes links) Direct link:
Website name: humordoctormd – Over 150 colorful pages; over 300 graphics
Copyright; Jerry L. Aragon (The Humor Doctor); 2006

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