Laughter and Longevity

You don't stop laughing because you're old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

Sven Svebak of the Medical School at Norwegian University of Science and Technology says adults who have a sense of humor outlive those who don't find life funny.His study covered about 54,000 Norwegians, who were tracked for seven years.

He released his study to the American Psychosomatic Society.Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires on how easily they found humor in real life situations and how important their humorous perspective was.

"The greater a role humor played in their lives, the greater their chances of surviving the seven years," Svebak says."Adults who scored in the top one quarter for humor appreciation were 35% more likely to be alive than those in the bottom quarter," he said.

"In a subgroup of 2015 adults who had a cancer diagnosis at the start, a good sense of humor cut someone's chances of death by about 70% compared to adults with a poor sense of humor," Svebak says.

Even if laughter does not help us live any longer, putting humor and laughter into your daily life will definitely make life more enjoyable and rewarding.

It most certainly will help you to better cope with life's challenges.

Living longer is most everyone's goal, but it's even more important to have quality of life. Life should be something we enjoy not just endure.

How humor and laughter affects longevity is probably most evident in people we have all been familiar with. George Burns was a stand-up comedian, who still made movies in his late 90's.

He was booked to do a performance on his 100th birthday in the London Paladium. Unfortunately, he didn't quite make it. However, he was still optimistic in his 99th year that he would be able to do the performance.

Bob Hope performed his stand-up comedy acts well into his 90's and Phyllis Diller performed her comedy acts well into her 80's.

A recent joint research review by Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina found that those with strong relationships were 50% likely to live longer.

One of the most important findings on the effects of laughter, particularly in later life, is its impact on inflammation, which plays a key role in a wide range of diseases, from arthritis to cancer, and which is a component of many age-related diseases that often cause disability.

The anti-inflammatory effects have also been shown to last 12 or more hours after the laughter has subsided.