He Who Laughs, Lasts!

Dear Henry,

The other day I was reading about the secret to longevity and appears that laughter really is the best medicine.

According to doctors, the effects of laughter are largely due to the reduction of cortisol, the stress hormone.   They say that it can help prevent heart disease and/or high blood pressure related ailments and will improve the quality of life when coupled with serious long term illnesses like cancer.

There is also strong evidence that laughter helps during a person's end of life and that we should, in fact, be placing whoopie cushions around hospice centers, rather than speaking in hushed tones and with tears.

I personally suspect that laughter (particularly the big, deep, belly laughs) also allows you to breathe deeply and "flush out your lungs, much the same way high-intensity exercise does.

If you need further evidence of laughter's life-extending effects may I suggest browsing the ages of some of our favorite comedians?  (The * means they are no longer with us)

George Burns* - 100
Carl Reiner - 97
Mel Brooks - 93
Dick Van Dyke - 93
The beloved Betty White - 97

Today's lesson - Laugh and live.

xoxo a.d.