“With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die and you need this medicine as much as I do.”
Abraham Lincoln, speaking to his cabinet members, 1862
Forests burning, hurricanes multiplying, America’s racial history haunting us, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, election worries and economic woes — people today are facing our own fearful strains.
Yet, while some of us might be hesitant to crack a joke or share a funny animal video, we need humor now more than ever.
Among its many health benefits, laughter can increase how much oxygen you breathe in, which stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and relieves stress.
“We’re able to take in more air when we laugh,” said family medicine physician Hans Crumpler of SharpCare Medical Group, Chula Vista. “While someone’s telling a joke, think of the tension that builds up before the punchline