QUESTION:  We’ve all heard and probably even said the following sayings: Laugh and the world laughs with you; Laughter is good for your health; and Laughter is the best medicine.  What about laughter makes it so good for us?

  ANSWER:  Laughter and a sense of humor actually play a big part in helping us keep healthier and happy.

  First let’s look at, “Laugh and the world laughs with you.”  Humor is infectious – hearing someone else’s laugh is contagious and at the very least when heard it makes you smile, if not laugh yourself.  When laughter is shared it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy.

  Next you mention, “Laughter is good for your health.”  Positive health benefits are widely accepted.  A good hearty laugh can temporarily relieve physical tension and stress.  It helps to reduce pain, boosts the immune system and works out the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, dissolves distressing emotions and helps you to relax and recharge.

  The last quote you mention is “Laughter is the best medicine.” It assists with helping reduce pain by increasing levels of endorphins, our natural pain killers and protects the heart by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow.   It also protects from the damaging effects of stress.  But best of all the effect of laughter is immediate, fun, free and easy to use.

  The more laughter we enjoy the better.  Let’s continue to be upbeat.  Let’s make it a point to be thankful for something every day.  Don’t let minor irritations get to us.  Always look for the silver lining and have faith that you’ll get past the minor bumps in the road.

  We are now entering the holiday season, a time for family get-togethers, parties and celebrations – a time when we will laugh a lot.  Unfortunately the holiday season is not a joyous time for everyone.  If you know of someone who has the “holiday blues” offer support and help your friend or family avoid isolation.



THURSDAY/FRIDAY – December 6 – 1:30 to 3:30 pm; December 7 – 7:00 to 9:00 pm – The Simi Valley Performing Arts Group presents – “WHAT ! – A Town Without Christmas” – at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley – admission is free and no reservations required.

  FRIDAY – December 7 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm – “Seniors First Annual Christmas Boutique” – at Palm Vista Senior Center, corner of “C” and 9th streets in Oxnard.  For information call (805) 385-8163.

    THURSDAY/FRIDAY – December 13 & 14 – 8:30 am to 12:30 pm – AARP Initial eight hour Smart Driver Course – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.  For reservations call (805) 381-2744.

    FRIDAY – December 14 – 7:00 to 8:30 am – Rotary Club Annual Holiday Breakfast hosted by The Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.  For reservations call (805) 381-2744.

  VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY:  Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) is looking for adults, age 55 and older, to join a team of volunteers that provide free income tax assistance.  The program is looking for tax preparers and greeters.  Both positions will need to commit to one day a week during the tax season.  Informational meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 11.  Call (805) 381-2742 to sign up for the meeting or for more information.


  Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns.  The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 9l362 or e-mail (please include your telephone.)  You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.



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