Serves: 5



Think back to a time when you were really uptight or worried about something. Then remember when someone made a joke-after a hearty laugh, you instantly felt much better.

This is no accident. Studies show that laughter, particularly the kind that makes your whole body shake, promotes better blood circulation and lowers blood pressure. It also releases endorphins, the chemicals in the brain that relieve pain and have a calming effect. Keeping your spirits up and having a smile on your face make it easier to deal with the stresses and strains of the world around you. Laughter has been called an inexpensive and effective wonder drug and a universal medicine.

Let your family know how important humor is to you. They may be hesitant, so you may have to take the first step and crack the first jokes. Because laughter is contagious, once people get the message, they will start to lighten up and share funny stories with you. If you have trouble getting going, try a few humor starters that have worked for others:

Laugh at yourself. Lots of funny things occur to all of us on any given day. Choosing to laugh rather than get upset will brighten your day and make you and others less tense.

Schedule a laughter break. Everyone who attends must bring a funny story or something humorous to share.

Request a cartoon or humorous book as a gift. The giver will also enjoy the hunt for the humor.

Rent videos that tickle your funny bone and have a laugh fest with friends.

Start a humor basket. Anyone who visits adds a funny saying, a funny story or a joke contribution to the basket.

From "Betty Crocker's Living with Cancer Cookbook." Text Copyright 2005 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This HUMOR AND HEALING recipe is from the Betty Crocker's Living With Cancer Cookbook Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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