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Laughter is the balm for the aging soul

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Knock. Knock. Who’s there? Age.

As you age, life can get extremely unfunny. For some, the aches and pains seem to replace beauty and youth and take away joy.

When we don’t feel good, sometimes we feel we are just dealing with the consequences of our life’s choices. It can be sobering to realize that the road ahead of us is shorter than the road behind us.

When this realization starts weighing on me, I find myself wanting to enjoy life more and laugh more.

As I age, I appreciate laughter more. There is not a day that I don’t find myself laughing out loud about something. Usually it’s at myself.

Laughter has become so valuable to my quality of life that I find myself looking for opportunities to laugh.

I admit I don’t understand the exact science of laughter. But having lived in Taiwan, Japan and the U.S., I can attest that laughter is the one universal language that everyone understands.

It is a basic expression that all humans share. Even when I couldn’t communicate in any other way in other countries, we could always share laughter.

Laughter creates a lightness of being and is a great way to cope with aging.

Creating more funny moments in life is really not that hard. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

>> Find funniness. Whether it’s the late-night comedy monologue on television, a silly movie or the comics in the newspaper, these frivolous pursuits are worth the time. If you look for humor, more of it will show up in your life.

>> Find fun people. When you connect with an old friend or co-worker, there are sure to be funny memories to revisit. Like the time you stuck your foot in your mouth. Or that prank you played on your high school teacher. Spend more time with light-hearted people that see the humor in life.

>> Laugh at yourself. Take a few moments each day to find some humor in your own situation. This is probably the best way to find some good laughs — at least it is for me.

>> Play with pets or kids. Both are always doing something silly that will make you smile. Get down on your knees for a little play time to unleash more laughter in your life.

Laughter creates physical effects on your body. It increases oxygen to your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. It creates relaxed feelings and relieves stress and tension. It creates a positive mindset that influences the immune system, reducing pain and anxiety.

Goofing off and giggling are sometimes scowled upon as a waste of time at home, school and work. Let’s resolve to seek more laughter in life and help each other find what’s funny.

Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit

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