Anderson Cooper got the party started, now where’s your next laugh coming from?

You DID see the video clip of CNN’s Anderson Cooper losing his typically smooth composure and giggling his way to YouTube immortality, didn’t you?  Two and a half minutes into his “RidicuList” he couldn’t hold it together any longer.  The story, rife with bad puns outlining the details of actor Gerard Depardieu’s “airline incident” was too much for Cooper, who cracked with an on-air giggle that lasted more than a minute. The infectious tittering had people talking about it the next day, posting the video clip and for the most part, expressing full appreciation.

I think we all need a good laugh!  Our well-being depends on lots of humor in our diet! I know that may be hard to come by on a regular basis, but the benefits are worth consideration! There is an actual word that describes the study of laughter and its effects on the body from the psychological and physical perspective—Gelotology! The body actually changes, for the better, by the way, with regularly occurring laughter. Author and humorist, Gerry Hopman, quotes a recent laughter study showing that 64 % of people smile less than 20 times a day at home and 72 % smile less than 20 times a day at work. But you don’t need a study to confirm your own experience! Who doesn’t feel better after a good laugh?

We need an infusion of humor—and quickly!  While the stock market takes our imaginations on a roller coaster ride, headlines scream of international “wars and rumors of wars” and the constant bickering in Washington (there are 439 days leading up to the 2012 elections) drones on and on, what are you going to do to infuse a little humor as an effective offset to gloom?

By nature I am a fairly upbeat individual, but from time to time it can all get to me, too! So this fall I’m inaugurating a smile-inducing personal challenge. I think I’d enjoy making my way through the AFI’s top 100 “funniest movies of all time” list. I don’t know how long it will take to get through 100 movies, especially since I gravitate to old favorites (The Philadelphia Story, Moonstruck, Topper…) and there are many others I have never seen (Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse, She Done Him Wrong, The Palm Beach Story…). Should be fun!

But sometimes it’s the loved ones in our lives who provide the best laughs. This week my granddaughter, Sophia, asked me a question reminiscent of Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things.”  “Nan. Why are your arms different from mine?”  I guess it’s a testimony to my decently healthy self-image because my only thought was that she must have noticed my “farmer’s tan.” After I complimented her  beautiful, young skin, she looked at me with those honest, big brown eyes and said plainly, “Your arms are puffy!”  Thank you, Sophia for providing my requisite belly laugh for this week!

If you have a “go to” humor list, please consider sharing it!  I’d love to hear from you and maybe we can enjoy a laugh together.