CHARLOTTE, NC: Living with ALS is no laughing matter. Or is it? As one who daily battles the condition, there are certainly moments of despair and frustration, but oftentimes there are also episodes of pure joy that result from various nooks and crannies of daily living.
In its own deteriorating way, ALS can certainly be bittersweet, but it should never be forgotten to share moments of frivolity and laughter in order to minimize and eliminate those times of despair.
It’s a proven fact that having a sense of humor makes life much easier to deal with, rather like Mary Poppins’ “spoonful of sugar making the medicine go down.”
ALS is no laughing matter
Historically, the human brain has typically contemplated the negative rather than “accentuating the positive” but there was good reason. Back in the days of being hunter/gatherers, such pessimistic traits were a matter of survival with old Mr. Murphy always looking over their shoulders.
In modern times, however, with all of our creature comforts, negative thinking is actually a negative that is non-productive and unhealthy.
It doesn’t necessarily indicate that life is always going to be a bowl of cherries or a bed or roses, but it does mean that a good solid laugh or two every day can keep the doctor away far better than an apple.
Dr. Rick Hanson, author of “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence” has some solid advice to help eliminate negative thinking.
“Whenever you’re feeling negative, stop and notice something positive. It can be as simple as a picture on the wall, a view out the window or appreciating help from family and friends. Once you identify something positive, spend the next 10 to 20 seconds reflecting on it and the good feelings it brings you,” writes Hanson.
As with any such suggestions, perhaps Hanson’s entire idea doesn’t suit your lifestyle, but in that case, simply modify it to whatever works for you to maximize its benefits.
Trade in your smiley face for a hug
Just remember, smiley-faced emojis or texting “LOL” don’t count. You must physically experience “laughing out loud.”
When photographer Bob Carey took a self-portrait dressed as a ballerina nearly a decade ago, the picture went viral. Since then, Carey has snapped more than 100 of his “selfies” from various places all over the United States.
Why are they important? Because while the photos may be humorous, there is a method in Carey’s madness. In 2003, his wife was diagnosed with cancer which she beat until it returned in 2006.
Since that time, Carey’s wife has been enduring the challenges of chemotherapy, but it was her illness that taught him to fight it with laughter.
Hence, Bob Carey periodically dons his tu-tu and pirouettes his way to battle breast cancer with his wife, one photo at a time.
Laughter is the best medicine
In 1920, “Reader’s Digest” made its first appearance on newsstands across America, and it has been an institution ever since. Founded by DeWitt and Lila Bell Wallace, “Reader’s Digest” is an American general-interest family magazine that is published 10 times a year.
Among its most enduring regular features is a page called “Laughter is the Best Medicine” where the editors include one-liners, quips, comebacks and witty sayings from celebrities and other sources to make each day a little brighter.
Here are some samples:
When Mick Jagger insisted that his wrinkles were actually laugh lines, jazz singer George Melly replied, “Surely nothing could be that funny.‘”
“A sports columnist recalled the story of a flight attendant who asked Muhammad Ali to fasten his seat belt. Ali replied, ‘Superman don’t need no seat belt.’
The flight attendant’s retort:
‘Superman don’t need no airplane either.'”
Funny words from funny men
Seeing a male dog sniffing a female dog, the young daughter of Laurence Olivier asked Noël Coward what they were doing.
‘The one in front has suddenly gone blind and the other one has very kindly offered to push him.'”
“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet service to see who they really are.” —Will Ferrell
“I was going to sue for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.” —Charles Barkley, TV basketball analyst
“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.” —Johnny Carson
“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” —Tom Clancy, author
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” —Mark Twain
“With the backing of Soros, the billionaire ‘Wizard of Oz,’ who would break America’s independence by bringing it into the World Alliance, Obama and others in the socialist camp continue to work not so much against the current president, as against the American Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up
Lead Image Source: pixabay.com