Laugh, Smile and Play


“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”
Charles Dickens


Can you imagine a world without laughter? I can’t. Several years ago, I was visiting my parents at their Annapolis, MD home. We were sitting in the sunroom catching up on what was going on in our lives when my dad said something really funny – so funny, that I was laughing one of those deep, belly laughs. A thought came to my mind: this is where I got my sense of humor. Probably no one outside of the Dennison family would have thought it was funny, but it was that great sense of humor that I grew up with that made me feel right at home. My siblings share the same sense of humor (which often lies on the edge of sarcasm) and it certainly led to a childhood filled with laughter and fun.

April is National Humor Month and according to, laughter truly IS the best medicine. Humor plays an essential role in our overall health. The ability to smile, laugh and play are directly related to the way people express their personalities. And, humor is good for your health. Jokes and general silliness help increase your heart rate and blood flow, bringing oxygen to your brain and vital organs. Laughter sends hormones flooding through your body, reducing pain and stress.

Larry Wilde, Director of the Carmel Institute of Humor, comedian and author, founded National Humor Month in 1976 to share the therapeutic benefits of humor with the world. This year, the observance is celebrating its 44th anniversary.

Perhaps one of the comedic actors who made me laugh the most was Robin Williams – ever since his days starring in the TV sitcom, “Mork and Mindy” (Na-Nu Na-Nu). With a slew of successful films and stand-up comedy shows, he was known as one of America’s funniest performers. While his tragic death was a shock to the world, his quirky comedic ability will always be remembered.

So, what makes you laugh? People love to laugh because it brings a sense of happiness and joy to their lives. It has been reported that the average adult laughs 17 times per day. Jokes, sitcoms and comedians all bring us joy because laughter makes us feel good.

According to, a sense of humor refers to one’s ability to find things funny and the general enjoyment in doing so. Who do you know who has a great sense of humor? My sister, Kathy, always makes me laugh as we share that same, rather sarcastic Dennison sense of humor. She can be counted on to bring humor into just about everything we talk about, sometimes leaving me rolling on the floor in a fit of laughter. My grandson, Noah, is the comedian in my daughter’s family and cracks everyone up with descriptions of his day-to-day activities.

How will you celebrate National Humor Month? This is a great time to see a comedy show and the Holly Hotel Comedy Club has a variety of comedians performing every week. Plan to spend time with someone you know who has a great sense of humor or tell someone your favorite joke. Try to find a little bit of humor in every situation. After all, laughter truly is the best medicine. Remember to love, play … and laugh!





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