Mike

Mike Zielinski

I chuckled when I read that a good laugh may help fend off cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes. Then, perhaps as a self-defense reflex, I erupted into uproarious laughter.

Indeed, it’s no laughing matter that laughter is good for the cardiovascular system and heart health. Come to think of it, that definitely makes it a laughing matter.

Laughter causes the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels (the endothelium for all you fellow non-cardiologists) to expand in order to increase blood flow.

Laughter causes the body to release natural chemicals known as endorphins that cause blood vessels to dilate. And expanded blood vessels are less likely to get clogged with the shrapnel residue of all the junk we stupidly ingest.

Laughter also may help boost the immune system and reduce the amount of inflammation in the body.

Upon learning all this, I’ve been insanely happy ever since. Yep, as giddy as an eternal adolescent. Heck, I’m petrified of showing even the slightest hint of primordial malevolence. I’m afraid if I cop a nasty attitude, I’ll suddenly develop the life span of a fruit fly.

Truth to be told, I’m not exactly sure how old the average fruit fly is when it kicks because they never run their obits in the newspaper. Suffice it to say, fruit flies rarely become senior citizens.

I’m pleasantly surprised that laughter is good for our health because it seems that nothing enjoyable — like sugar, alcohol, tobacco and bungee jumping — is ever good for our health.

Then again, it does make sense that laughter is a notable exception. The wailing and gnashing of teeth can’t be good for your heart or blood pressure. Then again, gnashing your teeth isn’t doling your crowns and fillings much good either.

By the way, feel free to chortle at each and every sentence in this hilarious column. You’ll live longer. And you’re quite welcome.

Pardon me for a moment wile I unleash a few guffaws to ward off any impending strokes.

OK, I’m back.

So if you want to reduce the risk of getting felled by massive cardiac arrest, which can put a huge kink in anybody’s day, allow 24/7 canned laughter to inhabit your world. Make your life sound like the laugh track of a lousy sitcom playing on an endless loop.

Learn to live with the silliness of perpetually sublime mirthfulness, even while watching your Jaguar catch fire in your driveway. Because what’s the alternative? Die young while grim-faced and grouchy on desolation row?

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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