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  • Rev. Timothy E Byerley, Ph.D

Laughter is the Best Medicine

In view of the contentious election and other local challenges, I thought a little humor could lighten our spirits. Here are a few humorous jokes and a cartoon:

At a Washington cocktail party, two strangers struck up a conversation. After a few minutes of small talk, one said, “Have you heard the latest White House joke?”

The second fellow held up his hand. “Wait, before you begin, I should tell you that I work in the White House.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” the first man replied, “I’ll tell it very slowly.”

-- T.J. McInerney in Globe

Overheard at the Food and Drug Administration: “If laughter is the best medicine, shouldn’t we be regulating it?”

-- BALOO in The Wall Street Journal

“You don’t see me at Vegas or the track throwing my money around anymore,” says Bob Hope. “I’ve got a government to support.”

Four friends met at a restaurant for lunch. For quite a while, no one said a word. Finally the first man mumbled, “Oh, boy!” To which the next one said, “It’s awful.” The third then muttered, “What are ya gonna do?”

“Listen,” exclaimed the last friend, “if you guys don’t stop talking politics, I’m leaving!”

-- The Big Book of Jewish Humor,

edited by William Novak and Moshe Waldoks

I will try to continue this practice of interjecting a little humor in my pastor’s corner on a monthly basis. In the meantime, keep smiling!

Fr. Tim Byerley



The Positive Effects of Laughter

Distraction: Laughter brings the focus away from anger, guilt, stress and negative emotions.

Physical Release: The “laugh until you cry” syndrome.

Internal Workout: Works the abs. “Laugh until it hurts” syndrome.

Endocrine System: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

Perspective: We view stressful events as either a “threat” or a “challenge”. Humor can help us view these events as “challenges,” making them less threatening and more positive.

Social Benefits: Laughter connects people, just like smiling or kindness. Laughter is also contagious.

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