By Mallory Sherwood, Managing Editor
Face the Facts
Dressed as a prom queen whose peak was in the 1980s, I, along with seven others paraded around Abilene on Monday night, arriving on the doorsteps of our professors’ homes. Once they arrived at the door, they were surprised to see their students dressed up with eager faces, begging for candy.
It was Halloween night, and instead of paying attention in class, finishing overdue work or beginning on Wednesday’s edition of the Optimist, the Optimist staff decided to take a break and have fun.
Tensions rise each day as I fall farther behind in my classes, have more articles to write each week and care less about whether I accomplish it all. The truth is, probably 90 percent of the students on campus feel this way, too.
Instead of stressing about how to accomplish everything, I’m realizing it’s more beneficial to find the humor in every circumstance for more reasons than just to save my sanity and do things spontaneously, like trick-or-treating while I’m still in college.
In a recent study conducted by the Loma Linda University of Medicine, researchers found that laughter has many benefits to our bodies.
A technique called humor therapy has been used since the 1930s to help patients overcome illnesses, help teenagers battle depression and help the average person beat stress. Doctors, researchers and patients are finding that laughter could be the best medicine.
Laughter activates the immune system to fight illness and the common cold, according to Humor Therapy’s Web site. It also decreases stress hormones by reducing at least four of the neuroendocrine hormones associated with stress.
Laughter relaxes the muscles that don’t participate when you laugh from your belly. It also is proven to reduce pain by allowing patients to “forget” about aches and illnesses.
Laughter lowers blood pressure, especially in women, helps respiration and is a form of cardiac exercise.
Doctors say a belly laugh is equivalent to an “internal jogging” and gives people a good cardiac conditioning. After laughing for only 15-20 seconds, the heart will remain stimulated for three to five minutes, although researchers say laughter can’t substitute for actual cardiac exercise. Who knew so many benefits come from a good laugh?
I spent Monday laughing until my sides ached at how ridiculously my friends and I were dressed and am still laughing today when I see the pictures we took of our night out. I did not get anything finished that I needed to Monday night, and my to-do list will continue to grow as the day goes on.
Regardless of my list, I enjoyed myself for the night and temporarily forgot about everything that had stressed me out that day.
Forget about whatever looms dark in your mind today and enjoy these random facts and jokes I found amusing:
¥ Plastic lawn flamingos outnumber real flamingos in America.
¥ 333 toilet paper squares make up a roll of toilet paper.
¥ The one hundred billionth crayon made by Crayola was periwinkle blue.
Taken from the Reader’s Digest Web site:
A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. He eats, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the manager shouts, “Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn’t pay for the food.”
The panda yells back, “Hey, man, I’m a panda. Look it up!”
The manager opens his dictionary to panda: “A tree-climbing mammal of Asian origin, characterized by distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves.”
¥ Psychiatry students were in their Emotional Extremes class. “Let’s set some parameters,” the professor said. “What’s the opposite of joy?” he asked one student.
“Sadness,” he replied.
“The opposite of depression?” he asked another student.
“Elation,” he replied.
“The opposite of woe?” the professor asked a young woman from Texas.
The Texan replied, “Sir, I believe that would be giddy-up.”
Improve your heath and frame of mind by enjoying a funny sitcom on TV, by telling a joke to a friend or by doing something ridiculous to make you laugh, straight from your belly.