‘Adaptation towards Life‘ and ‘Triumphs of Experience’ from psychiatrist George Vaillant are two books where researchers followed aproxiamly 300 man from their student time in the early 1940’s until their deaths. Most of these men have passed away and those who are still alive are in their 90’s.
Researchers looked into the difference between the men that aged mentally and physical in good health to the men that didn’t. When they looked at the data they collected something remarkable was noticed. More important then no overweight, no smoking no high blood pressure and regular doing some sport activities is they way some men mentally cope with life. One of these cooping mechanism is humour.
Men with humour are better in cooping with the struggles of life and getting old with all it’s discomforts.
A beautiful example of this is an interview with an 85 year old man. He’s been asked what sex means to the man. His answers is that he still longs for it but he’s physical incapable of doing it. He’s also asked how he coops with it. His answer is that he talks about it with his fellow men. Sometimes they make jokes about sex and the laugh about it and sometimes the even have a laughing fit about is.
The interviewer asked about what kind of jokes they tell each other. Well says the man….
“A retired farmer builds on his grounds a beautiful house and at the other side a big pond. Every evening he walks to his pond and back. One night he finds in his pond a group of young naked women. As soon as these women see the old man the women stop what they are doing and get bodies under the water with only their heads sticking out. After that they say to the man that he’s a dirty old man. ‘Dirty Old Man’ he says. Well ladies the only thing i do here every night is to feed the crocodiles !!”.
The health-promoting effect of humour occurs when you yourself do some humourous things or when you watch, listen or read something humourous. We don’t know how humour works, but we do know that humour works.
Humour can even be helpful is politic. Abraham Lincoln, one of the famous and most imported Presidents of the United States read humourous stories when he was feeling depressed.
All the more reasons to wish everyone
a healthy and humourous 2016!!