Monday, November 17, 2014

Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

In life, as in writing, it's important to see humor in even serious situations. In literature, humor eases the stress level in tension filled scenes to give the reader a chance to catch his breath.

American Heritage Dictionary defines comic relief as follows: n. A humorous or farcical interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy intended to relieve the dramatic tension or heighten the emotional impact by means of contrast.

Wikipedia says, "William Shakespeare deviated from the classical tradition and used comic relief in Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. The Porter scene in Macbeth, the grave-digger scene in Hamlet and the gulling of Roderigo provide immense comic relief... In popular culture, the character of C-3PO, featured in all six Star Wars films, is also considered to be used as comic relief. He is often found criticizing the desperate situation the other characters find themselves in, or being rescued from predicaments by his counterpart R2-D2."

In real life a good laugh is important, too. According to's page on Stress Management:
  • Laughter gives us a physical and emotional release
  • Good belly laughs work out the diaphragm, contract the abs, and exercise the shoulders
  • Laughter takes away focus from negative emotions like anger, guilt, or stress in a more positive way than an ordinary distraction.
To learn more about the health benefits of laughter, click here!

Here's my prescription for a happy, stress free life: Smile, laugh, hug often--oh, and read some good books with lots of comic relief! What's yours?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!


shelly said...

Great post, Maria! I always feel better after a great laugh.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

+100 to everything here! No doubt in my mind that one major reason I've been married for over 20 years is because he makes me laugh!

Maria McKenzie said...

@Shelly: Yes! There's nothing like it;).

@Jennette: A sense of humor is so important in marriage! Helps ease out all the tough spots;).

William Kendall said...

Laughter certainly does raise the spirits.

Norma said...

This is all so true, Maria!

I'm always bothered by "serious" novels that are TOO serious. Humor is a huge part of how many of us respond to grave situations.

Unknown said...

So true, laughter is very important especially being able to laugh at oneself.

Maria McKenzie said...

@William: There's nothing like a good dose of it!

@Norma: I know! When I read something too serious, I really get depressed.

@Anita: Hi Anita, thanks for visiting my blog! You are so right. We all have to be able to laugh at ourselves;).