Mary Mullen of Bethel Park Library Laughter Club in Bethel Park, Pa., received training from World Laughter Tour Inc., the U.S. sponsor of laughter clubs. She heads the Bethel Park club, which meets at 11 a.m. the third Monday of each month. Mullen earned degrees at Kutztown State University, Kutztown, Pa., and the University of Pittsburgh. She is the head of the Outreach Department at the library, which provides services and resources to older adults, caregivers and activity professionals. She offered these benefits of laughter:
Activates your immune system.
Decreases harmful effects of stress.
Aerobically exercises heart and lungs.
Relaxes muscle tension.
Improves digestion.
Relieves depression.
Rests the brain.
Improves alertness and mental processing.
Helps to absorb information faster and retain it longer.
Improves problem-solving.
Improves outlook on life.
Leads to a better sense of humor.
Enhances romance.
Improves morale.
Mullen said these daily practices will help you prevent hardening of the attitude:
Mondays are for compliments. Thought: "A kind word often goes unspoken, but never goes unheard." Look for the good in others.
Tuesdays are for flexibility. Thought: "The tree that bends in the wind does not break." Be open to new ideas.
Wednesdays are for gratitude. Thought: "As you go through life, let this always be your goal: Keep your eye on the doughnut and not on the hole!" An attitude of gratitude brings serenity and laughter.
Thursdays are for kindness. Thought: "The practice of kindness creates healthy relationships and community connections and inspires people to pass kindness on to others." Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with one another in peace.
Fridays are for forgiveness. Thought: "I never hold a grudge because while I am being angry, the other guy is out dancing!" -- Comedian Buddy Hackett. Let go of anger and find compassion.
Weekends are for chocolate. Thought: "A bad day fishing beats a good day working." Take time for leisure, pleasure and relaxation.
Source: World Laughter Tour Inc.

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