Humor and Longevity linkage?

by | Apr 18, 2018

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e. e. cummings

American flags will be flown at half-mast this Saturday in honor of an amazing lady.  Barbara Bush’s demise at 92 years young is sad for admirers. Yet humor helped her put life in her years on this crazy planet. Heck – most of us can look at 92 years – or 34,000 days or those 807,000 hours or those 48 million seconds as chances to live well.  And living well means on average 235,000 hours of “good sleep.” And living well relates to that tried and true adage about “laughter is good medicine.”  This former first lady offered that one key ingredient her 73-year marriage to George H.W. Bush was humor.     I know that my better half would have departed long ago if she couldn’t laugh off my bone-headed moves and well-intentioned hiccups of life.  Ah – 42 years of matrimony as evidence of our work in progress!?

Please check wellness aspects of chuckling at help guide  (

Mrs. Bush was living proof of these documented wellness aspects of happy faces 🙂

Now her long legacy can be proof positive too.

  • Drop blood pressure?  you bet.
  • Decrease stress/cortisol levels?  Undoubtedly.
  • Burn a few calories?  Sure… 10 to 15 minutes of smiling and laughing can burn ~ 40 calories a day – or 4 pounds a year – IF you laugh well and often.
  • Decrease physical / mental pain or discomfort?  Ya la creo! Check this article for laughter as therapy for cancer survivors.  Dr. Patch Adams didn’t clown around solely to be a comedian – did he?
  • Reduce prospects for heart disease?  True!
  • AND . . . live longer (especially for women)?  Most likely.

You’ve probably seen evidence of Barbara Bush’s humor shared in TV spots, commencement addresses, or perhaps in person – as I was fortunate to experience her joie d vivre.  She spoke at a motivational gathering in San Diego years ago, with your scribe attending/taking notes.

– She asked us if  “we” were concerned that “her boys” governed one-tenth of all Americans.  I wasn’t a bit concerned as George and Jeb seemed to be doing pretty good jobs in Texas and Florida.  She added several other quips and life is funny thoughts that day.

I’m a Vermonter, and fairly stoic by nature. Can I and should I laugh more?  Note to self – YES!

  • I can and should create opportunities to laugh.
  • I can and should develop my humor.

If I can – you can too. “But if you had a humorless childhood, never fear—studies show people can learn to embrace the absurdity of life at any age.” It’s perfectly okay, and encouraged, to laugh at others’ jokes, even if not too funny.  Yup.

I prescribe medicinal chuckles -> and ask readers to be funny and probably die later…

Embrace absurdity, and be well.





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