Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Benefits of Laughter — With Some Witty Jokes to Prove it




Do you know that whenever you feel down and start thinking that things are not coming your way you can trick your brain and lie to your thoughts, pretending in your head that they are coming your way? You can smile at yourself in the mirror, meditate, listen to a piece of music, or take a walk in the park to change that mindset. Once the thoughts change, things your reality will also change.
 


One of the terms used in psychology and sociology to explain that often-misunderstood occurrence is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Coined in 1948 by Robert Merton, SFP is a belief that becomes true because people act as though it is true; “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the originally false conception come true.”

In simpler words, it’s adopting the fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude. Why do this? Because it works.

Now for instance, I believe, even if subtly down deep inside, that this new romantic relationship I'm in will fail; this belief can alter how I would normally handle a new relationship,
ending with its actual failure. So the prediction about the outcome here invokes a novel behaviour from my part which leads to the prediction becoming true. This often occurs on the subconscious level and lies behind our conscious awareness. 

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy works equally for both negative and positive predictions, showing that the beliefs we hold in our conceptual minds have a significant impact on what happens to us and shapes our reality. It also works in a variety of fields; whether it’s related to our confidence and self-esteem, our relationships, setting goals in our lives, or simply in controlling our everyday temper. 

You may first feel that this is fake or artificial, but with some practice, one learns how to hack that brain with such a simple trick. I pretend I’m happy until I become happy. Again, why bother doing that? Because it works. After some practice, you'll be so accustomed to the process that you'll be happy all the time. Eureka!  

Another common phenomenon which proves that our minds do have powers is The Placebo Effect. As I have previously discussed before, this is another phenomenon showing that expectations alone can be strong enough to overcome serious diseases. It may sound like magic sometimes, just because it is Magick. You simply need to believe in it for it to work.  


As said, there are many ways in which we can snap out of whatever drab mood we’re in and switch to a merrier, more peaceful one. But perhaps the way that never fails to alleviate those negative thoughts and emotions is humour.

The wily Indians, for ones, knew all along that happiness and laughter are healthy, that’s why they came up with World Laughter Day and Laughter Yoga (
Hasyayoga). In Ancient Rome, humour in the form of jokes and satire was likewise celebrated and was thought of as weapons against totalitarian regimes.

To dive a tad deeper beyond all the magic talk, scientifically speaking, laughter stimulates the release of endorphins and dopamine in the brain. This produces “endorphin-mediated opiate effect,” which gives us a sense of satisfaction and reward.
In turn, these beneficial neurochemical changes boost the immune system, prompting it to function better.

Other health benefits of laughter include
improving the function of blood vessels and increasing the blood flow, hence preventing heart attacks; stimulating and activating the brain, relaxing the muscles, and relieving stress. Laughter also keeps us emotionally healthy and easier to approach.  

This explains why smiling at yourself in the mirror has a subconscious ability to get you to feel happier, which naturally also keeps you mentally and physically healthier. 

Neuroplasticity and Epigenetics are other, more scientific, terms which pretty much describes the same phenomenon of mind over matter. Through these relatively new fields of studies,
we now know that everything is continuously shaped by our experiences. We know that we are in control of our cells and genes, therefore of our reality. We know we have that power. Note that this is not philosophy, but it’s science.  

 
Another remarkable feat about happiness is that it is contagious. So not only do you benefit yourself when you’re happy, but you sprinkle some of that happiness on those around you as well ― whether you are conscious of this transference of energy or not. 


Happiness is an internal process which does not rely on outside factors; it’s a habit to cultivate and it stems from within.
  
Laughter is one of the healing symptoms of happiness. And it is, in fact, the best of medicine. Without it we would all go insane, as Robert Frost elegantly expressed.

All that said, what better way to end this articlette than to share the following witty, PG-13 jokes straight from the One Lucky Soul archives. Stay tuned for more fun soon.


1- Hilarity At The Pearly Gates



It was getting a little crowded in Heaven, so God decided to change the admittance policy. The new law was that in order to get into Heaven, you had to have a really bad day on the day that you died. The policy would go into effect at noon the next day.

So, the next day at 12:01 the first person came to the gates of Heaven.

The Angel at the gate, remembering the new policy, promptly asked the man, “Before I let you in, I need you to tell me how your day was going when you died.” 

“No Problem,” the man said. “I came home to my 25th-floor apartment on my lunch hour and caught my wife having an affair. But her lover was nowhere in sight. I immediately began searching for him. My wife was half naked and yelling at me as I searched the entire apartment. Just as I was about to give up, I happened to glance out onto the balcony and noticed that there was a man hanging off the edge by his fingertips! The nerve of that guy!

I ran out onto the balcony and stomped on his fingers until he fell to the ground. But wouldn’t you know it, he landed in some trees and bushes that broke his fall and he didn’t die. In a rage, the first thing I thought of was the refrigerator. I pushed it out onto the balcony and tipped it over the side. It plummeted 25 stories and crushed him! The excitement of the moment was so great that I had a heart attack and died almost instantly.”

The Angel sat back and thought a moment. Technically, the guy did have a bad day. It was a crime of passion. So, the Angel announced, “OK, sir. Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven,” and let him in.
A few seconds later the next guy came up. “Hi there. Before I can let you in, I need to hear about what your day was like when you died.”

The guy sighs and says: “No problem. But you’re not going to believe this. I was on the balcony of my 26th floor apartment doing my daily exercises. I had been under a lot of pressure so I was really pushing hard to relieve my stress. I guess I got a little carried away, slipped, and accidentally fell over the side! Luckily, I was able to catch myself by the fingertips on the balcony below mine.

Then this crazy man comes running out of his apartment, starts cussing, and stomps on my fingers. Well, of course I fell. I hit some trees and bushes at the bottom, which broke my fall, so I didn’t die right away. As I’m lying there face up on the ground, unable to move and in excruciating pain, I see the guy push his refrigerator of all things off the balcony. It falls the 25 floors and lands on top of me, killing me instantly.”

The Angel is quietly laughing to himself as the man finishes his story. “I could get used to this new policy,” he thinks to himself. “Very well,” the Angel announces. “Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven,” and he lets him enter.

A few seconds later, a third guy comes up to the gate. Finally he says, “And what was YOUR day like?”

The guy says, “OK, picture this. So I’m naked inside a refrigerator…”



2- The Nurse Who Couldn’t Hold it


The nurse asked a patient to remove his clothing and put on a gown to be checked by the doctor.

“In front of you?” He shyly asks. 

The nurse says: “Well no, but I’ve seen the naked human body before.”

The man said, “Not one like mine. You’d die laughing at my naked body.”

“Of course I won’t laugh,” replies the nurse, “I'm a professional. In over twenty years I’ve never laughed at a patient.”

“Okay then,” he said, and he proceeded to drop his trousers, revealing a gigantic round male body with the smallest adult male organ the nurse had ever seen in her life; in length and width it was almost identical to a AAA battery.

Unable to control herself, the nurse tried to stop a giggle, but it just came out.
And then she started laughing at the fact that she laughed at the man’s private part, so she laughed even more. Feeling embarrassed, she tried to compose herself as well as she could.

“I am so sorry,” she said, “I don’t know what came over me. On my honour as a nurse and a lady, I promise that it won’t happen again. Now, tell me, what seems to be the problem?”

“It’s swollen.”

She ran out of the room.



3- Sex After Death?


A couple made a deal that whoever died first would come back and inform the other if there is sex after death. Their biggest fear was that there was no afterlife at all.

After a long life together, the husband was the first to die. True to his word, he made the first contact:

“Marion…Marion.”

“Is that you, Bob?”

“Yes, I’ve come back like we agreed.”

“That’s wonderful! What’s it like?”

“Well, I get up in the morning, I have sex. I have breakfast and then it’s off to the golf course. I have sex again, bathe in the warm sun and then have sex a couple of more times. Then I have lunch — you’d be proud, lots of greens. Another romp around the golf course, then pretty much have sex the rest of the afternoon. After supper, it’s back to the golf course again. Then it’s more sex until late at night. I catch some much needed sleep and then the next day it starts all over again.”

“Oh, Bob! Are you in Heaven?”

“No, I’m a rabbit somewhere in North Carolina.”



4- The Wise Cabby

A man returns home a day early from a business trip. He suspected his wife is having an affair and wanted to catch her in the act. So while en route home that night, he asks the cabby if he would be a witness. For $100, the cabby agrees. 


Quietly arriving home, the two men tip toe into the bedroom. The husband switches on the lights, yanks the blanket back, and there is his wife in bed with another man!

The husband puts a gun to the naked man’s head.

The wife shouts, “Don’t do it! I lied when I told you I inherited money:

HE paid for the Porsche I gave you.

HE paid for our new cabin cruiser.

HE paid for your football season tickets.

HE paid for our house on the lake.

HE paid for your Hawaiian golf vacation.

HE paid for our country club membership, and HE even pays the monthly dues!”

Shaking his head from side-to-side, the husband lowers the gun. Then he looks to the cabby and asks, “What would you do?”

The cabby replies, “Me? I’d cover his ass with that blanket before he catches a cold.”
 



5- The Mailman and the Blonde

It was George the Mailman’s last day. As he did his final rounds, he reached the door of the first house and was greeted by a elderly couple who gave him a gift certificate. At the next house, the entire family gave him a set of fishing lures, and at the third house he received a box of fine cigars.

But at the next house, he was greeted by a sexy blonde wearing a skimpy
négligée. Without a word, she signaled him to come inside. She gently took him upstairs and proceeded to make mad passionate love to him. George certainly didn't mind.

She then led him downstairs where she made him a huge breakfast of toast, sausage, eggs, and hashbrowns. George was utterly satisfied. As he leaned forward to get his second cup of coffee, he noticed a dollar bill sticking out from under the cup.

Curious, he asks the blonde, “This is all wonderful and I appreciate everything, but…what’s the dollar for?”

“Oh,” says the blonde, “I asked my husband last night what we should give you for your retirement. He said, ‘Screw him! Give him a dollar!’”

She beamed at him, “The breakfast part was my idea!”



And the Bonus


I once told my lesbian neighbours that “I wanna watch”, so they got me a Swatch for Christmas.  


I hope you now feel slightly better. Check the sequel The Benefits of Laughter Two, Too, To — With More Witty Jokes to Prove it for more phun.



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